Okay, a bit of hyperbole there. But only a bit. The Afghan Whigs’ “Black Love” is reissued in November. It is an absolutely titanic album, one that gets under the skin of how men think, full of guilt, remorse, vengeance, bravado, and self-loathing. The opening lines of the record are a promise that sets the scene:
Tonight, tonight I say goodbye
To everyone that loves me
Stick it to my enemies tonight
Then I disappear
From there, we’re off into an hour of noir infused drama, seedy, sleazy, cathartic and ultimately redemptive and uplifting. Rock fuses with classic R&B, furious guitars melding with electric piano and swelling organs, while the lyrics allow Greg Dulli’s louche alpha male posturing its fullest expression. His anguished soul roar narrates these crime narratives, revenge fantasies, love songs twisted back on themselves. It’s like a Scorsese movie or a hip hop record. These are bad people doing bad things and you probably shouldn’t like them. But damn, they’re cool.
I can’t express how much I love this record. So gripping and immersive, put it on your headphones as you walk down the street and you’re the ten foot tall star of your own private movie. The attached Quietus link is a great appraisal – give it a read, then sit down and listen to the whole thing. By the time the last notes of the utterly majestic “Faded” die out, you’ll thank me for it. Promise?