Dynamite Steps - The Twilight Singers
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Apr 27, 2011
    80
    Both for Dulli as an artist, and me as a fan, the borders may be wider but the thrill remains the same - this is dark, cynical, sexy, and genuinely moving with it, and that's a combination potent enough to make this an outside bet for rock album of the year.
  2. The sound is a return to the Whigs' finest and the mood is whiskey, cigarettes and damnation.
  3. 80
    The album sways and moves in ways we haven't seen since 1998′s 1965. Dynamite Steps sits comfortably in his canon, and that is perhaps the perfect compliment.
  4. Feb 16, 2011
    79
    Dulli's only got a set number of tricks up his sleeve, and Dynamite Steps deploys them all: the vocal soaring above the maelstrom of guitars (a trick he perfected back on the Whigs' 1965), the off-key croon that other singers might AutoTune, the delicate piano contrasting the gutter guitars, the sordid come-ons masking dark existential doubts, the sudden groove as if someone stepped on the gas.
  5. Mar 14, 2011
    76
    Dulli is the king of building to a pinnacled, string-filled moment and he nails it here. The burning edifice of the heart rarely sounds so transcendent.
  6. Feb 24, 2011
    76
    I'd call Dynamite Steps a solid listen – but not an imminent classic.
  7. Feb 16, 2011
    75
    Whatever name Dulli is working under, his creative project stays the same: providing an opposition to indie rock's sensitive-male majority.
  8. Feb 23, 2011
    70
    With Dynamite Steps, Dulli has delivered the fully-realized statement of self-mythology that his fans knew he was capable of, strutting his stuff like agéd legends who've long since been internalized, making it look easier than it should be.
  9. Feb 23, 2011
    70
    "Waves" may boast a certain post-punk urgency, but Dulli's on to something more seductive here. [Mar 2011, p.99]
  10. Feb 18, 2011
    70
    Whatever fork in the road Dulli takes, one thing's for sure: Dynamite Steps lives up to the expectations he's set, at least musically speaking.
  11. 70
    Dynamite Steps, appropriately enough, is an album of powder kegs and bright flashes -- moments that boldly spark, then quickly burn out.
  12. Feb 15, 2011
    70
    While Dulli has mined the same vein of pop music for almost 25 years, he has nonetheless accomplished an awful lot with it.
  13. Feb 15, 2011
    70
    Dulli thrives on atmosphere, and while his inability to write the kind of sharp hooks or memorable choruses that have elevated other semi-dystopian malcontents into the relative mainstream is evident throughout the album, that sense of place makes Dynamite Steps feel less like a collection of songs and more like a long, dangerous, and unpredictable night on the town.
  14. Feb 15, 2011
    70
    Unleashing a persona that's part barroom romantic, part serial killer, Greg Dulli's Twilight Singers project has now eclipsed his Nineties soul-grunge outfit Afghan Whigs.
  15. Feb 15, 2011
    70
    As a collection of songs and sentiments there is a nagging sense that Dulli is revisiting old haunts. Yet it feels reassuring, as Dynamite Steps continues the resurgent course he's been treading in recent years.
  16. Feb 15, 2011
    67
    Dynamite Steps as a whole doesn't live up to its potential.
  17. Apr 15, 2011
    60
    Fifth album from former Afghan Whigs mainman's collective. [Apr. 2011, p. 94]
  18. Mar 2, 2011
    60
    Gorgeously produced by the Syndicate, many of these tracks are piano-driven, mid-tempo dirges that take a while to get rolling; occasionally, as on "Be Invited," they just circle the block.
  19. 60
    Dulli generally succeeds in keeping things as darkly hypnotic as a rain-lashed midnight motorway.
  20. Feb 25, 2011
    60
    With Lanegan, Nick McCabe and Ani DeFranco along for the ride, Dulli's roiling, captivatingly haunted songs detonate with incandescent splendor. [Mar 2011, p.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 21, 2011
    7
    The Twilight Singers "Dynamite Steps" is not explosive but it still burns stronger than most albums these days. It is difficult to approach the Twilight Singers latest album without high expectations after the 2006 release of Powder Burns (possibly the band's best album). After four years and some change, the new album is not the chronicles of an epic journey but a hodgepodge of Afghan Whigs, Gutter Twins and early TW. There are really some amazing moments on the album. The contrast between an acoustic guitar and full orchestra of sound in "The Beginning of the End," for instance. "On the Corner" keeps your toes tapping through the middle of the album. "Gunshots" is a strong song and "Blackbird and the Fox" beckons back to the Twilight Singers debut album more than a decade ago. But don't approach Dynamite Steps with the expectations of a Powder Burns part II. There is just something lacking. The formula is there, the strong moments are there, but it is not the best that Dulli has to offer. The album ends with the title track, which follows the Dulli formula that dates back to 1996's Black Love album -- with the close of "Faded." The song has beauty but does not deliver the Twilight Singers usual power. Full Review »