The Afghan Whigs

1965

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With 1965, the Afghan Whigs finally made the gritty soul record just always out of their reach -- seamlessly integrating the R&B aspirations which have textured the band's sound since the beginning, the music simmers with raw energy, its deep, dark grooves not so much white-boy as simply white-hot. Recorded in New Orleans, the album is plainly the product of its environment -- sultry, sleazy, and more than a little menacing; here more than ever, Greg Dulli is the frontman you love to hate, strutting and swaggering his way through standout tracks like "Something Hot," "Uptown Again," and "John the Baptist" with predatory aggression. (Who else would deliver a lyric like "I got the devil in me, girl" as though it were a pickup line?) Still, for all its cocksure arrogance, 1965 is nevertheless a sincere tribute to the classic music recalled by the album's title -- lyrics aside, even if Dulli did sell his soul, he's somehow managed to get it all back.

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