Friday, May 04, 2007

Threshold Apprehension

Song: Threshold Apprehension
Artist: Black Francis
Album: Bluefinger

As a pretty huge Frank Black fan, both his essential work with the Pixies as well as his extensive solo output, I was unquestionably disappointed with his last release, the double album “Fast Man, Raider Man.” After the country tinged home run that was “Honeycomb,” a double album was sure welcome… but it was boring. Oh Frank… don’t let us down!

As mentioned, I am a big Frank Black fan. I have all of his solo records (Twelve so far) and think (unlike a lot of Pixies snobs) that some of his best work can be found there. My personal favorite is the killer “Dog in the Sand” but literally have found at least a handful of tracks on every solo record that I really dug. That was until “Fast Man, Raider Man.” Given how prolific he is, I suppose some slack should be granted.

BUT, after a wildly successful reunion tour with the Pixies, he has pretty much dispelled rumors of a reunion album and I believe this is simply because expectations are just too high. With only four full-length Pixies records in existence, all considered modern classics depending on whom you talk to, how on earth do you truly follow that up? I guess you don’t… and you just keep cranking out solo records which the world doesn’t hold to the same standard.

So almost immediately on the heals of “Raider Man” comes the mysterious “Bluefinger,” which got leaked a few months back. Oddly, Mr. Black has decided for this album to return to his old Pixies moniker “Black Francis.” This may not be official, as the album doesn’t have a release date as of yet.

The record is a return to the straight ahead punk influenced rock that made the first couple albums he did with the Catholics sound so raw. Gone are the country leanings… is the “sad punk” back? The album apparently has a lot of references to Dutch artist Herman Brood who committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. I am really digging the record, MUCH better than the last for sure. Second track “Threshold Apprehension” is Black as his most unhinged, the likes of which we have not seen in quite some time. I welcome the return, and despite my disappointment with the last record, I will always take each new record as a new clean slate… and this one is worth it.


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