Afghan Whigs, ‘Lovecrimes’ (Frank Ocean Cover) – Song Review
Yes. At this year’s Primavera Sound festival, the Afghan Whigs were in the middle of their afternoon set, reminding people why angsty ’90s rock didn’t have to be superficial and undercooked. It could be raw, literary, and visceral, in which case Greg Dulli is the St. Augustine or Ted Hughes of the alt-rock genre. While switching from guitar to piano, Dulli pecked a few minor chords out of the keys and started rasping, of all things, a song by an R&B singer half his age.
Dulli is no stranger to whipping out a left field cover on the regular, but his cover of Frank Ocean’s ‘Lovecrimes’ was beyond unexpected. It seemed like an important, intergenerational, intergenre — and, heck, interracial, seeing as how grungy alt-rock is the domain of the white dude and R&B is solidly urban — co-sign.
Having toured and refined their interpretation of the track for a few more weeks, the Afghan Whigs have released a proper studio recording of Ocean’s ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ track and, well, it’s a wonder.
It’s a wonder how Dulli can sell that line, ‘Is it really wrong that I wanna be the baby daddy?’ without coming off as Cool Dad and the Rap Show.
It’s a wonder that, after the reams of internet ink spilled comparing Ocean to other artists, not a single intrepid critic drew a line from the controversial Afghan Whigs frontman to the Odd Future soulman.
And it’s a wonder that the song works at all, much less as well as it does. Chalk this up for the most unexpected cover of the year so far.
Listen to Afghan Whigs, ‘Lovecrimes’