Album #46: Greg Dulli – Random Desire

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Hamilton, Ohio, USA
  • Label: Royal Cream
  • Best Track: Black Moon

Best known for being the frontman for The Afghan Whigs and their side project The Twilight Singers, Greg Dulli has a solid body of solo work too. Random Desire dropped last Friday and is his second studio album, and his first solo release since a 2010 live LP. I haven’t even heard a great deal of his two bands, let alone his solo output, so this will be a venture into the unknown for me.

And I can officially reveal that Random Desire is absolutely….OK. I can’t be any more charitable than that. From what little I’ve heard of the Whigs, they seem to have a lot more energy and edge than Dulli is able to serve up on my own. It’s all a bit Coldplay for my liking – carefully crafted and technically proficient, but ultimately a little bland, airy, insipid and displaying all other hallmarks of Chris Martin’s generally uninteresting presentation.

It’s not without its promising moments. ‘The Tide’ threatens to come to live with a sudden snarl and raise in volume, and I enjoyed the labyrinthine effects of the winding keyboard on ‘Black Moon’.

But having given it several listens and tried to unearth some sort of spark, I still find myself switching off and forgetting this record is playing, which suggests I’m finding it boring. I feel lousy saying that, as Dulli is clearly not just churning out any old half-arsed rubbish here. No doubt other listeners will see something I’ve missed in Random Desire.

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