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Advance Review - Greg Dulli: 'Random Desire'

(Photo Credit - Maciek Jasik)

Advance Review - Greg Dulli: Random Desire (February 21, 2020)

When it was announced, I was extremely excited for Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs first solo venture, Random Desire. The first thought that came to my head was how the legendary vocalist would utilize his pipes on this album. Needless to say, Dulli doesn't disappoint. I was immediately struck by "Sempre". It's mixture of acoustic guitar and piano on the melody was absolutely arresting. It's complimented perfectly by Dulli's powerful vocals.

With "Marry Me", Dulli slows things down with another acoustic number and utilizes the softer side of his legendary vocal talent. Greg Dulli is great at building toward a climax in his music. He does this perfectly in "The Tide", as he slowly incorporates accompanying instruments on the verses and slowly builds his vocals up. He ultimately his his stride on the hook in a payoff that is anticipated and satisfying.

If you're a fan of the Afghan Whigs, you'll be sure to love this album. That's not to say that Dulli solo carries the exact same style as he does when he's with his band. He takes risks that I don't see happening in a traditional Afghan Whigs song, such as sampling vocals and creating beats. Also, we see a lot more acoustic guitar work here than is traditionally present on the Afghan Whigs work. With all the bells and whistles Dulli brings here, it really seems to work. However, I wish he would have unleashed his powerful voice a bit more. For example, when I last saw the Afghan Whigs play live, I swore to my wife that Greg Dulli almost didn't need a microphone in the large venue the show was happening in. He's got that much oomph in his pipes. Dulli spends much more time on this album pacing the melody methodically. It always seems to be building, but often plays coy with the payoff.

All that said, there's a lot to like here as well as some things I wished had been there. Having written all and performed nearly all of the music on this album, I came away extremely impressed with Dulli's versatility. Dulli has created a well-paced and surprising album. My favorite track would have to be "Sempre", as it all seems to come together on that one. Random Desire represents a unique growth musically for the veteran Greg Dulli. It shows that even after being active on the music scene since 1986, he still has a few tricks up his sleeve and stories worth hearing.

Rating - 4/5

Greg Dulli / 2020 Tour Dates:

March 19 - Róisín Dubh - Galway, IRELAND

March 20 - Whelans - Dublin, IRELAND

March 22 - SWG3 Warehouse - Glasgow, UK

March 23 - Gorilla - Manchester, UK

March 24 - Islington Assembly Hall - London, UK

March 26 - Paradiso Noord - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS

March 27 - Muziekodroom - Hasselt, BELGIUM

March 28 - Trix - Antwerp, BELGIUM

March 30 - Luxor - Cologne, GERMANY

March 31 - Lido - Berlin, GERMANY

April 02 - Hotel Cecil - Copenhagen, DENMARK

April 03 - Debaser Strand - Stockholm, SWEDEN

April 04 - Parkteatret - Oslo, NORWAY

April 24 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN

April 25 - Metro - Chicago, IL

April 26 - St. Andrew’s Hall - Detroit, MI

April 28 - Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, OH

April 29 - Woodward Theater - Cincinnati. OH

April 30 - Mr. Smalls - Pittsburgh, PA

May 01 - The Great Hall - Toronto, ON CANADA

May 03 - Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA

May 05 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC -

May 06 - Webster Hall - New York, NY -

May 07 - Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA

May 09 - The Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC

May 10 - Cat’s Cradle - Carrboro, NC

May 12 - The Loft - Atlanta, GA

May 15 - One Eyed Jacks - New Orleans, LA

May 16 - 3Ten @ ACL Live - Austin, TX

May 17 - Granada Theater - Dallas, TX

May 19 - Bluebird Theatre - Denver, CO

May 22 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR

May 23 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA

May 26 - August Hall - San Francisco, CA

May 28 - Palace Theater - Los Angeles, CA

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