This is an especially entertaining nonfiction book from the series 33 1/3, in which Bob Gendron writes about the album Gentlemen, by the Afghan Whigs. The audiobook explores the band's controversial history - adored by some, hated by others - and their relatively obscurity today, except to loyal fans. How did this happen after such amazing initial success? Using interviews with band member as well as his own insightful input on narrative, lyrics, and musicianship, Gendron brings new eyes and a fascinating perspective to this high-energy, high drama album. The narration is done by David Marantz, in whose drawling voice listeners will detect an honest enjoyment of the book's subject matter.
Like no record before or since, Gentlemen is fraught with the psychological warfare, bedroom drama, Catholic guilt, reprehensible deception, and shame that coincide with relationships gone seriously wrong. Its seemingly thick skin is rife with argument, infection, claustrophobia, temptation, accusation, illness, addiction, blood, scourge, and spite. And then there's the music. Singer Greg Dulli's liquor-cabinet confessions are chased with some of the blackest-sounding rock ever committed to tape by a white band. Hopped-up on primal energy, the mesmerizing R&B, funk, slide-blues, garage, and chamber-pop strains are tied to a come-hither soulfulness perfumed with hyssop and stained with nicotine.
To this day, Gentlemen remains as cursed as its controversial narrator, an album out of time even in its time. Released in October 1993, when grunge ruled the world, it sold far less than works by most "alternative" bands of the day. Despite glowing reviews and feverish tour support, Gentlemen faded from view--and yet it remains dearly beloved to almost everyone who's heard it.
Drawing on new, in-depth interviews with all of the band members, Bob Gendron dissects the record's charisma, arrangements and lyrics. He also delves into the memories, histories, experiences and influences of the Afghan Whigs, most notably those driving Dulli, a polarizing frontman whose fierce pretentiousness, GQ appearance and gloves-off boisterousness concealed deep-rooted mental depression and chemical dependency.
©2008 Bob Grendron (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Gendron's write up takes an under-rated album and turns it into a great listening experience. Duli comes alive in this story and his supporting crew all have their characters accurately conveyed in this well-researched narrative.
For those of you who like the 33 and 1/3 Series stories that actually are about the artists instead of the writer, this is your book.
I always thought that Black Love was the Whig's best album. I owned and listened to Gentlemen but was unconvinced of it being genius. Until this audiobook.
Now I see it differently. Through interviews and media reports, Gendron puts you in the mind's of Duli and the rest of the band.
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