Dirty Three - Whatever You Love You Are

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2010-06-18

Dirty Three's adherents--and there are many, and they tend toward the fanatical--have it that the trio's dogged refusal to employ a vocalist is due to the fact that they just don't need one. While there is no arguing that Warren Ellis (violin), Mick Turner (guitar) and Jim White (drums) are virtuosi--Ellis also plays in Nick Cave's Bad Seeds, who are probably the finest ensemble group in the business--Dirty Three's determinedly instrumental repertoire is still apt to sound somewhat formless. What was revolutionary about rock & roll from the outset was that the instruments were there to serve the song. When the instruments are only there to serve the instrumentalists, the danger is towards aimlessness or, worse, self indulgence. Dirty Three are too clever for that, mostly, and there are some undeniably pretty moments here--"I Really Should've Gone Out Last Night" and "Some Things I Just Don't Want To Know" are as eloquently rueful as their titles. Mostly, however, Whatever You Love, You Are sounds, as Dirty Three's records tend to, like a work in progress. --Andrew Mueller

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