The Twilight Singers' new record boasts a strong line-up of conributing guests, but doesn't quite cut it...

Cracked up to deliver a lot, Powder Burns, the new album from former Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli, falls slightly short of the mark. It's emotive and rocking at times, like especially in third track 'There's Been An Accident', which features the ubiquitous Joseph Arthur, but it lacks a longevity that would garner it epithets such as 'seminal' or 'outstanding'.

It runs past you in something of a monotone style and unless you're paying implicit attention you'll miss some of the finer detail, but there is quite a lot on offer here, as can be found in the throaty 'My Time (Has Come)', which borders on sounding like an old fella trying to rekindle past glories but just about gets away with sounding fresh and funky.

'Forty Dollars' puts an interesting spin on The Beatles' 'She Loves You', repeating that classic refrain once or twice in the song in a new style that alters the original sense of The Beatles' tune in terms of atmospherics and feel. 'Dead To Rights' however, is one of the highlights of the album, actually coming across as very easy and even enjoyable to listen to, the sandpaper-like vocals giving it an edgy feel and a coarse/smooth dynamic that compliments the track well.

'The Conversation' is quite lovely, Mr. Arthur's voice in the background bearing a beautiful accompaniment to the main features of this softer song. The music overall is hard to categorize, it's a little all over the place and there isn't the most concise sense of coherence running through the record at all times, which does seem to let it down. In terms of orchestration and provocative lyricism and musicianship it is quite worthy, but as a whole it just doesn't quite cut it.

Ender 'I Wish I was' with its opening of some sexy smooth sax is something quite apart from the rest of the album, as if all the other songs were just support to this the main attraction. Dulli moulds his voice into sounding like a smoky saxophone in a gritty jazz club and the song just lifts and lifts as it carries on, it's a top notch effort that shows up the rest of the accompanying music on this LP.

So, apart from the exceptional last song, Powder Burns isn't really all you'd expect from The Twilight Singers, there's definitely potential, but saying that about an album and an artist at this stage in their game is the same as saying 'some of its former magic remains, but a lot has been unfortunately lost...'