Could it be that after decades of self-flagellation Greg Dulli is ready to cut loose? On Random Desire, the latest solo outing by the Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers’ resident tortured poet, he sounds like he’s at least willing to try.
The album opens with a spry, buoyant bass line and snappy rhythm on “Pantomima” — a mood that Dulli immediately crushes with his inherent pessimism, singing, “Desolation, come and get it.” A few seconds later, he cracks that his broken heart as been “fixed in post” like a Hollywood producer making an actor who flubbed his line look good. In this case, “fixed in post” means an uplifting guitar line, a little tambourine and vocal hooks like “don’t you forget it” hiding his otherwise tempestuous world outlook. It’s a pace he manages to keep up for 37 minutes on Random Desire.