Sound — 10
An ambient sound emits from the silence followed by the beautiful sound of an organ as we walk into the "Crime Scene Part One." This is only the beginning as we step into the story the Afghan Whigs' tell in Black Love. The entire album tells a story of betrayal and tragedy and does it well. From the beautifully twisted (or twisted yet beautiful) "Crime Scene Part One" to the dark finale of "Faded." This album will leave an impact similar to that of Shakespeare's most tragic tales.
Lyrics — 10
Listen to the lyrics in "Crime Scene Part One" carefully as they return in certain songs such as "Blame, Etc." and "Faded." The emotions in each song are set both in instrumental and lyrical senses. The opening track is the beginning of the end and we are taken by the next track, "My Enemy," into the eyes of the initial (or maybe not) victim. The rest of the album is just as stimulating, effusive and riveting. Songs like "Step Into the Light" and "Night By Candlelight" delve into the psyche of our main character as he desperately seeks to confide in the woman he longs for. "Night By Candlelight" displays the mind of the murderer as he questions his actions in the ominous fate that is to come as conveyed in the line "Is my fate all the same as the man who has walked the line straight?" There are darker sides as we have already seen on our protagonist/antagonist (depending on where you stand on the matter. This character is along the same lines as Shane Vendrell from The Shield), but songs like "Going to Town" only validate this point with lines like "There is a cost when you say, 'Now we got Hell to pay.' Don't worry, baby. That's okay. I Know the Boss." All of this leads up to the final act of "Faded" where the fates rendezvous with our character and the female motive of his deplorable act. Do not download this album or copy it from a friend. This album was meant to be a package deal. The booklet for the album has a significance equal to Mae's The Everglow. It is best to appreciate this piece in its entirety.
Overall Impression — 10
Black Love is undeniably one of the most beautiful stories told. Many artists attempt and only few succeed in creating a concept and telling a story as well as this band. Through vivid lyrics and vehement instrumentals, the Afghan Whigs create a wild experience that will never leave you.