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Dynamite Steps
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
I'll admit I have a love/hate relationship with Dulli's music, which I have been listening to since his days leading the Afghan Whigs. His songs have a visceral effect on me: some of them truly move me, others absolutely irritate me. That said, I believe that Dulli is one of the best American singer/songwriters of the moment, and right now he is clearly at his peak in creativity.

As another reviewer stated, the two Gutter Twins CDs are amazing, and have been on my play list almost non-stop since they were released. On the other hand, The Twilight Singers CDs I have tended to pick and choose from, making my own play lists. Again, some of the songs I have loved, others I really have not liked at all.

All of this by way of saying that, if you have been following the Twilight Singers for the last few years, then you should really enjoy this CD. In my opinion, it is probably the most consistent CD they have made. From start to finish, there is not a bad song on the CD. And while I tend to like Lanegan's vocals more than Dulli's (Lanegan does sing backup on at least one song), here Dulli holds his own.

This CD is not as mellow as some have been; indeed, a couple of tracks reminded me of the Afghan Whigs, but smoother, more polished. It has a rock-blues sound to it, of course, but with just the right effects.

I don't know enough about music to speak to what he is doing technically in terms of the construction of the songs, so I'll leave that to others who are better qualified. I will say this: if you liked the Afghan Whigs, earlier Twilight Singers CDs, or The Gutter Twins project, then you can download this CD with confidence. It is Dulli at his best, and my hope is that he will maintain this level of virtuosity for years to come.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
When I first really got into Greg Dulli's music was when i bought the gutter twins record Saturnalia on the count of Mark Lanegan. As I listened to that album I found that the songs that struck me the most were the ones that Dulli penned and sang on (God's Children, The Body). I decided to delve deeper and buy Powder Burns and Blackberry Belle. Both of these albums I would rank as my favorite records and i truly did not believe that they could be topped (especially Blackberry Belle, as an album it just flows so well!) Indeed I was wrong.
This album has not only exceeded my expectations but it has me rethinking which Twilight Singers album I like most. I'd say it surpasses Powder Burns but is on par with Blackberry Belle.

'Last Stop This Town' is a grower, and really reminds of 'Martin Eden' with its piano intro followed by its pulsating bass. The first time I heard it, i was unsure of what i was in for.
'Be Invited' is more subtle in its approach but is in my opinion quite effective. With Lanegan doing guest vocals in the chorus, it really adds to the dark feeling that Dulli captures so well.
'Waves' sounds so colossal in its delivery and guitar wise, really remind me of Dulli's days with The Afghan Whigs. His vocals seem buried but you can tell he's yelling his heart out on this one!
'Get Lucky' is a sweet ballad that brings the mood back down. Lyrically it seems like a warning to those around the protagonist and as the song goes along it builds until you hear distorted applause. Quite deserving indeed.
'On The Corner' is a really cool track! Dulli's lyrics were as he said more based on flow for this one more instead of creating a narrative. Dynamically the song is just fantastic.
'Gunshots' is a really gripping emotive song that has a great hook to it. As the song builds the backing vocals from Joseph Arthur kick in, and they're just fantastic! They really add to the songs emotional qualities. I can see this going off live!
'She was stolen' seems more anthemic than anything else on the record. Dulli said this song was quick to finish in the studio and it adds a nice touch to the record because it seems quite different to many of the other songs on the album. While the record has a dark vibe throughout, this seems like the first ray of light. A really charming, beautiful song.
'Blackbird and the fox' brings the darkness back. Well before the album was even heard, Dulli said in an interview that the next record would have a 70's AM radio vibe to it. About 7 months later this song was released for free on their website. From the first couple of bars of the song I could tell Dulli was obviously having a bit of fun during that interview. Ani DiFranco duets on this song and the harmonies created together work beautifully! As it starts to really build the song's over. Quite a quick blast of brilliance!
'Never Seen No Devil' begins in a reserved manner with Dulli singing softly but as the second verse rolls around, the song amps up and turns into another amazing song! I must say this is one of my favorites.
'The Beginning of the End' begins like a shoegaze song and then cuts to just acoustic guitar. It's a really cool song, with Dulli using more of his higher register. i found it the most surprising when I first heard it. I now really do adore this song.
'Dynamite Steps' is a great way to end a great album. It starts off slowly and drawn out but begins to shift dynamically as more layers are added. When the lead guitar line enters, it sounds just amazing. Dulli's lyrics are also quite touching and powerful as the song fades out.

Now to be honest, this album doesn't stray too far from the sound The Twilight Singers are known for. It is cinematic in approach and has plenty of crescendos. Having said that this is the album I wanted them to create, something that had differing layers and certain songs which would take time to grow with but a sound which was ultimately familiar. If you like any of the Twilight Singers stuff, especially Blackberry Belle, then you should adore this album as I do. It deserves high praise and I hope this finally gives Greg Dulli the mainstream attention he deserves.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I knew next to nothing about Greg Dulli or his music prior to listening to the newest album from The Twilight Singers. I had heard of the Afghan Whigs but that was about it. I listened to Dynamite Steps after my brother reccommended it. It just goes to show that sometimes the best music hits you when you least expect it to. Upon my first listen to this album, I was struck by the strangeness of it all. The songs were dark, moody, emotionally heavy and they were never in a hurry to be over. They created an indelible atmosphere that was quite unlike anything I'd recently heard. The songs were lacking in hooks or catchy choruses and Greg Dulli's vocals reminded me of a mix of Richard Ashcroft, Mark Everett (E) and Randy Newman. Sounds bizarre, but it worked. I can't say that I loved the album upon first listen, but I was definitely intrigued.

The genius of Dynamite Steps, however, lies in its complexity and layers. Repeat listens to this album reveal new facets and nuances in the lyrics, arrangements, and in Dulli's vocals as well. This is truly an ablum in the purest sense of the term. There is a remarkable cohesiveness as the songs seem to flow endlessly into one another. Sometimes the album feels more like one continuous song more than it does a series of individual tracks. That will likely keep The Twilight Singers from scoring much radio play, but something tells me they're ok with that. So am I.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2011
Format: Vinyl
I didn't think The Twilight Singers would be able to top Powder Burns. That album is fantastic and never leaves my playlist for very long. But Dynamite Steps just feels like a more complete album. The mood is perfect and consistent. I'm really looking forward to the tour for this album.
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on November 27, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
This is definitely not the best Twilight Singers album. Twilight takes that award. But, this is good and worth the money.
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on November 21, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This album holds 4-5 outstanding songs that quench the thirst of Greg Dulli fans waiting for new music. The Twilight Singers continue to bring fresh sound and a unique approach to each album. For me, exceptional standouts include Get Lucky and Blackbird and the Fox. For Dulli or Twilight fans, this will not disappoint.
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on October 25, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I've long been an Afghan Whigs fan and Dulli's words and vocals in particular. Over the years, I'd listened to a Twilight Singers track here and there, but just never felt the same passion for it. After the recent reunion, I found myself browsing the net and reading reviews. Some of the reviews for this album made me curious enough to pick it up. I listened from beginning to end, and then from beginning to end again, and then again... The album just creeps into your soul at some point, opening with a song that I first assumed had been recorded on a bet. It's as if someone said to Greg "Sure, your fans love your voice in spite of the fact that you spend a significant amount of time out of key, but there's a limit." And Greg just replied "Oh yeah, we'll see." What's even stranger is that later in the album there is a song that can only be described as 'pretty' sounding... from Greg Dulli... I know! Anyway, I became obsessed with this album pretty quickly and it's really opened me up to appreciating the rest of the Twilight Singers catalog, which I've since purchased. I can say that I get it now. It's working for me. And this is the brilliant album that breached the levy. It's a gorgeous piece.
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on March 18, 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
New album gets better with every listen. Dynamite steps is stand out track of many good songs. Dulli's voice has never sounded better or more passionate.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2011
Format: VinylVerified Purchase
There aren't many records that I can say I can't get enough of. I can safely say this has been played a couple of hundred times since I've had it. Maybe give or take 50 times..... Regardless, I kinda forgot about Greg Dulli for a spell.....more because I associated many of the Afghan Whigs records with past sadness. I didn't want to go there. When I discovered this.....this.....gift he has presented us, wow. I can't tell you what it means to me, but just know if you are a fan of real, heartfelt, and well-written songs, then this is for you. Having gone back and read interviews with Greg, I remember why I love him so much. There are few giants in the music world, and most are held to a high standard and revered, like Bob Mould. He's just THAT great. You want to get as close as you can and just have a piece of who he is for yourself. This record just makes you want it all the more.

Dynamite Steps the song is just about as perfect a song as you can find.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD
When I read all the rave reviews for The Twilight Singers' Dynamite Steps, including a 7.9 out of 10 on Pitchfork, I was practically frothing at the mouth with excitement as I brought this album home. I have two words for you: Don't trust Pitchfork! Actually, that's three words and if the first one wasn't a contraction it might be four. But I digress. I like Greg Dulli; I really do. He's a hard working guy and he's put out some good stuff. And I wanted to be enthusiastic about Dynamite Steps. The first time through I really liked the vibe and the feel of this record. It's a mighty creepy, disquieting ride and that's quite appealing. And there is some lovely accompaniment by guests Carina Round, Ani DiFranco, Joseph Arthur, Mark Lanegan and other co-conspirators/collaborators. But unfortunately almost all of those folks, most particularly fellow Gutter Twin Lanegan could have handled the lead vocal duties much better than Dulli. And if you really dig this sort of thing, pick up the best Mark Lanegan solo albums or just about anything by Nick Cave. So to Greg Dulli, A for effort and atmosphere; C for delivery. And that puts this rating in the star system at about 3.
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