Rhythm & Views

Twilight Singers

In the haunted, velvet-covered go-go lounge of your mind, who else but Greg Dulli inhabits the stage as gorgeous dancers, with perhaps a few too many wrinkle lines around their eyes, sensuously move their half-naked bodies to the ex-Afghan Whigs frontman's interpretation of the Supremes' "Love Child"?

Whatever the case, with She Loves You, Dulli brings his melancholy brain and massive balls to bear on 11 vastly re-imagined cover tunes. He transforms Hope Sandoval's "Feeling of Gaze" into a triumphantly shimmering star in the sky, a hypnotic beacon worth following to the end of the Earth. He re-christens Topley-Bird's "Too Tough to Die" as a dark requiem that sounds like it was pounded out on a dusty piano and drum kit left over from the Westwood film set. He drags Björk's "Hyperballad" kicking and screaming onto the dance floor of some frightening gospel showdown. He turns Billie Holiday's signature, "Strange Fruit," into a dirty little secret between lovers, as they admire their repulsive handiwork.

But my personal favorite is Dulli's anthemic, gritty, guitar-jangling take on Fleetwood Mac's "What Makes You Think You're the One." I hope that Lindsey Buckingham hears this version and figures out how to incorporate some of the Twilight Singers' stark beauty into the next Mac attack.

Unlike lesser covers projects--like, say, Elvis Costello's Kojak Variety--She Loves You lets you into the most unexpected corners of a significant artist's imagination, where "Hard Time Killing Floor" and "A Love Supreme" make perfect sense next to each other, because such dated songs are made new again in Dulli's darkly romantic vision.

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