By now it’s such a fucking cliché to say, “singer X has reclaimed their glory days on this solo album … it’s a COMEBACK!” But, as Frank Black has shed his “given” name to reclaim the persona of Black Francis on his latest, BlueFinger, that previous statement is no cliché.
I was wary when the Pixies reformed, and even more wary when I heard they might record together again. So far, so good, as the band has remained silent and hasn’t attempted any new output. But that doesn’t mean the world is wanting for a new Pixies album, because with the resurrection of Black Francis comes an album that would make the Pixies proud.
The urgency is back. The propulsion is back. The melodies are back. “Threshold Apprehension” surfaced a few months back, and is included again on this disc, and proved again that Black Francis could write a tune that grabbed the listener by the throat and throttled until the gave in to a sweet asphyxiatitive state rife with the dark pleasure of chaotic atonality running head on with the girl-group arrangements that only Black Francis’ furtive and screeching falsetto can deliver.
I’ve always admired Frank Black’s solo output, even if it didn’t really hit me in the solar plexus, but Bluefinger delivers a double fist-punch right below the heart, failing to break the breastplate in all the right ways, and leaves me gasping breathless for more.
P.S. If “Angels Come To Comfort You” isn’t a sequel to “Alison” then, well, I’m not gonna double-think the master so I won’t make a sweeping claim to tie up everything into a nice neat package, but I will say if it ain’t, then maybe (perhaps) I’m a monkey’s uncle.*
Which, given Darwin, is probably true anyway, right? Fuck it, listen to the lyrics and you’ll see what I’m getting at.
*Mose, by the way, not some random gal or other crush, duh.