The Twilight Singers Blackberry Belle (One Little Indian) Rating: NNN
I'm getting the feeling this second disc from former Afghan Whig Greg Dulli is a bit of a thinking disc. I didn't fall in love with it the second I pressed play, but it grew on me, and there's still some room. Blackberry Belle starts with a waltz, Martin Eden, and proceeds to showcase an eclectic mix of low-key mood rock ranging from ethereal moody triphop to all-out alt rock, where it loses its charm. Strings, organ, mellotron, piano, horns and pedal steel are finely layered with guitars, bass and drums to create some sweetly crafted atmospheric tunes that then give way to duds like cheesy mid-tempo rocker The Killer. Dulli can write some nice tunes and he knows atmosphere. But when he breaks out those rocker balladeer vocals you just want to go, "Hey! Shhh! Go back to that moody low-key thing you do so well."