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Twilight Singers - Powder Burns

  by Andrew Carver

published: 28 / 4 / 2006



Twilight Singers - Powder Burns
Label: Select Label
Format: CD

intro

Angst-ridden, but powerful latest album from the Twilight Singers, whose frontman Greg Dulli takes his influnces from late 1980's pop rock


Greg Dulli’s Twilight Singers once again serves as a place to exercise his demons – note, that’s “exercise”, not exorcise”: Addiction, emotional turmoil, “the sins of the past” and other personal hellhounds are let out of their cages for a quick run around the block and a chance to take a bite out of some unwary listener. 'I’m Ready' has some of the drive of the similarly titled Royal Trux tune, but as usual there’s an edge of desperation in Dulli’s voice. On previous Twilight Singers albums the songs have threaded their way through lives in a downward spiral, and 'Powder Burns' is no different (you don’t have to work hard to guess what kind of powder the title is referring too). In 'Daylight is Creeping' the approaching dawn sounds like an encroaching danger – the song’s protagonist is a man so worn thin by life he might dry up and blow away. The album echoes with the sound of late 1980's pop rock – post-Pink Floyd, pre-Radiohead - reverberating piano and sultry backing vocals occasionally accompanied by gritty guitar. It isn’t lightweight – songs like 'My Time (Has Come)' have genuine snap and bite – but like most of Dulli’s work there’s an exterior smoothness to put a deceptively pleasant front on the interior nastiness. Thus, on the pleasant acoustic ditty 'The Conversation' you can find Dulli cooing that “three can keep a secret – if two of them are dead.” Dulli also references classic British pop in a few numbers – but when he sings about someone playing fire you know they’ve been badly burnt; when he sings “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah”, the target has fouled up his relationship with his lady for good. The most prominent fault of 'Powder Burn' is that in some songs Dulli’s voice is slightly buried. It doesn’t seem like an artistic conceit meant to suggest a man lost in the murk – it’s genuinely a notch or two too low in the mix. Once again, Dulli has created a world within an album that’s a dangerous, but fascinating place.



Track Listing:-
1 Toward the Waves
2 I'm Ready
3 There's Been an Accident
4 Bonnie Brae
5 Forty Dollars
6 Candy Cane Crawl
7 Underneath the Waves
8 My Time - Has Come
9 Dead to Rights
10 The Conversation
11 Powder Burns
12 I Wish I Was



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