The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen (1993/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Artist: The Afghan Whigs
Genre: Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Label: © Elektra Entertainment
Release Date: 1993/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Recorded: May–June 1993, Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee (except track 1 recorded April 1993 at Ultrasuede in Cincinnati, Ohio)
If there is one album fully deserving of a coming of age celebration, it is The Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen. Since its original release in October of 1993, Gentlemen's lore has grown in stature as fans new and old continue to embrace the album. 33 1/3 published a book about the album in 2008 and Stereogum proclaimed just last month, "From its bombastic opening to its understated end, Gentlemen remains a fine example of what exactly independent rock music is capable of accomplishing."
The Afghan Whigs' sound was growing larger by the release during the days on Sub Pop, so the fact that Gentlemen turned out the way it did wasn't all that surprising as a result ("cinematic" was certainly the word the band was aiming for, what with credits describing the recording process as being "shot on location" at Ardent Studios). While Gentlemen is no monolith, it is very much of a piece at the start. While "If I Were Going" opens things on a slightly moodier tip, it's the crunch of "Gentlemen," "Be Sweet," and "Debonair" that really stands out, each of which features a tightly wound R&B punch that rocks out as much as it grooves, if not more so. Greg Dulli's lyrics immediately set about the task of emotional self-evisceration at the same time, with lines like "Ladies, let me tell you about myself -- I got a dick for a brain" being among the calmer points. The album truly comes into its own with "When We Two Parted," though, as sad countryish guitars chime over a slow crawling rhythm and Dulli's quiet-then-anguished detailing of an exploding relationship. From there on in, things surge from strength to greater strength, sometimes due to the subtlest of touches -- the string arrangement on "Fountain and Fairfax" or the unexpected, resigned lead vocal from Scrawl's Marcy Mays on "My Curse," for instance. Other times, it's all the much more upfront, as "What Jail Is Like," with its heartbroken-and-fierce combination of piano, feedback, and drive building to an explosive chorus. Dulli's blend of utter abnegation and masculine swagger may be a crutch, but when everything connects, as it does more often than not on Gentlemen, both he and his band are unstoppable. --AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett
1 If I Were Going 03:05
2 Gentlemen 03:53
3 Be Sweet 03:36
4 Debonair 04:14
5 When We Two Parted 05:47
6 Fountain And Fairfax 04:21
7 What Jail Is Like 03:30
8 My Curse 05:46
9 Now You Know 04:10
10 I Keep Coming Back 04:51
11 Brother Woodrow 05:40
Greg Dulli – vocals, rhythm guitar
Rick McCollum – lead guitar
John Curley – bass
Steve Earle – drums
Harold Chichester – piano, mellotron
Barb Hunter – cello
Marcy Mays – vocals on "My Curse"
Jody Stephens – back vocals on "Now You Know"
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