Love Changes Everything by Dirty Three album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions. The trio's LP is now out via Drag City


Love Changes Everything

Dirty Three

Dirty Three, you could say, is an acquired taste. Like the bitterness of coffee that you come to crave in the morning or afternoon, the smoke of a cigarette which envelops you in its acrid fumes until it is your very breath. Love Changes Everything is the title of their latest record, their first in twelve years, recorded in five days when the Dirty Three, (Warren Ellis, Jim White, and Mick Turner,) converged from three different continents in Melbourne, for a record that is even more spontaneous than their loose and often chaotic former records.

The title of the record reminds me of my burgeoning love for the band, almost thirty years ago. I listened to their breakout Horse Stories a dozen times before it opened to me, like a lotus flower, and have loved them ever since. In this age of instant gratification, technological manipulation, and glossy perfection, this album and the band itself are a reminder of the human soul which is at times messy, disjointed, ever-reaching, and ultimately becoming. A reminder of the amorphous but all-encompassing nature of love itself.

Each of the tracks bears the album title’s name, along with the Roman numerals, I-VI, and each of the tracks is remarkably different from the last. Trading out violin for piano on track II’s melancholy meditative piece, for example. Or the ten-minute swelling and growing of the last track, VI. Love, they seem to be saying, comes in many forms and has many seasons.

The trio, which Ellis says is “older and meaner, sadder and totally dangerous,” seem to soften in each other’s presence. The album recalls their formative years, where “We sat down and played, which is what we used to do in the early days.” As artists who are each following their own creative paths, these days—violinist Warren Ellis partnering with Nick Cave on many projects, drummer Jim White playing with Greek singer George Xylouris and with guitarist Marisa Anderson, and guitarist Mick Turner who plays with his band Mess Esque—it is literally and figuratively a “homecoming,” something that will certainly be more meaningful for the long-initiated than the newcomer.

But the genius of their work, and something that anyone can grow to appreciate, is that they are masters of intuitive rock. Playing off of each other, interrupting each other, complementing and complimenting each other, as love is wont to do. They will all go off to their respective projects and countries, but we are lucky to have down on record their alternately raucous and assuaging post-rock jazz music. This is an album that I think many will come back to, time and again.

Order Love Changes Everything by Dirty Three HERE


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