Thursday, April 29, 2010

Black Francis - Nonstoperotik

Black Francis
Cooking Vinyl

Wait. Let me get this straight. The label is called Cooking Vinyl but the album is only available on a CD? OK then. Let me preface this by saying that I am a huge fan of the Pixies, the first two Frank Black solo albums, as well as the first Black Francis solo album, Bluefinger. So it is with great disappointment that I have reviewed Nonstoperotik.

No matter what Charles Thompson calls himself, he is nothing if not prolific. When it was revealed in the liner notes of Frank Black's Christmass, the part-live part-studio album, that songs were indeed being written by Black Francis, I was excited and cringing all at once. I can get behind the reunion tour with the Pixies to get his share of the millions that Nirvana and other band made from his influence. But recording under that name again when you had long renounced it smelled of nothing but cashing in. Bluefinger, however, had some real gems including Thompson's finest post-Pixies tune, "Threshold Apprehension,". The idea is that we were supposed to hear the strangeness again. This collection shows slightly more resemblence to the Pixies than the output of Frank Black & The Catholics.

There are a few tracks worth checking out, if for nothing other than hearing Thompson's chord progressions and unique timing. The hope here is that, with bringing keyboard player Eric Feldman back into the fold, we could hear something like "Alec Eiffel," or "Hang On To Your Ego," again. But living in the past is fantasy and trying to recapture it is foolhardy. Sound advice for the listener and the artist.

Track Grades:
  1. Lake Of Sin - 7.0
  2. O My Tidy Sum - 8.4
  3. Rabbits - 4.7
  4. Wheels - 8.1
  5. Dead Man's Curve - 8.3
  6. Corrina - 7.2
  7. Six Legged Man - 7.8
  8. Wild Son - 6.7
  9. When I Go Down On You - 7.3
  10. Nonstoperotik - 5.6
  11. Cinema Star - 7.7
Overall Grade = 7.16

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