During the 5 days I spent in Madrid, these two albums were essential during this winter break spare time. I’m unable to decide which one to choose as the album of the week, thus both of them must be referred to as the soundtrack of week 49.
THE AFGHAN WHIGS – BLACK LOVE
I started being in the mood for The Afghan Whigs a week before and all a sudden the announcement that the band members were joining back, emphasized the nonstop listening and the purchase of those almost forgotten album.
Not sure right now whether I explained my personal experience with the band led by Greg Dulli. I might repeat myself this time but I think it’s necessary to talk about it.
The Afghan Whigs used to be praised by the press in the 90’s, specially by the rock magazine I’ve been buying since I was 16, Popular 1 Rock.
When living in London I had the opportunity of attending one of their shows, in 1998, but it was a complete disappointment. On one hand I didn’t understand by Dulli was so respected when he was constantly singing out of tune. It was like I couldn’t get into the show, plus, with all due respect, it seemed like a gay party, full of homo couples not paying much attention to the show but chatting, kissing and cuddling. I felt quite out of the scene, not belonging to such atmosphere, and the songs didn’t catch me either. Thus I forgot about them for many years. It was my ex who reintroduced me to the band, and since then I really dig.
Black Love is a very dark album, apparently inspired by an attempt by Dulli to this work became the soundtrack of a film noir project he was developing, which never saw the public light. This is what I’ve always heard, I don’t really know, but it’s true it seems like following a kind of plot or pattern. You have to listen to the whole album.
The first 7 songs of the album are reckless and outstanding: My Enemy, Blame, etc. Step into the Light, Honky’s Ladder… these tracks really kick ass. However at this point the level and rhythm of the album decrease quite much, making this final stage a bit less bearable. It’s like all the action is concentrated on the first part, and the rest misses the emotion and intensity.
This reunion is something that really pleases me, and probably if attending the local festival they’re playing at in May 2012, I will come to terms with this band once and for all.
NEKO CASE – BLACKLISTED
It’s curious Neko Case’s third album is also marked by a very dark tone. My mood wasn’t so dark, but it’s true I was after something atmospheric and Blacklisted really was an option.
This was her third album, recorded after moving from Seattle. Seems that she was fed up with the city, reckoning it was a tough one. The cover picture shows a her lying on the road, right by an opened van with a Seattle plate, full of furniture and personal belongings.
Country is quite rooted in the style, classic instruments such as banjos and pedal steels are present in the compositions, but it’s different. Blacklisted is dark, intense and deep.
I’ve always thought Neko’s voice is unique. Beautiful, strong and powerful, a delicacy difficult to explain, her style is elegant and very personal, has something sexy and attractive too. Being completely subjective, I’d say she’s currently my favorite female singer.
Perharps this cut belonging to this album I’m talking about, might reflect what I find hard to explain. I’m in love with Neko Case