SOME FIRST IMPRESSIONS WHILE LISTENING TO "BLUEFINGER" BY BLACK FRANCIS
Today, a big welcome back to Black Francis (aka Frank Black). The endlessly cheeky auteur returns to his Pixies-era moniker, stating that "I couldn't get the Pixies back into a studio, but I would transform into my alter ego of yesteryear."
His new album (out as of Tuesday) is called Bluefinger, and is a tribute of sorts to the late Dutch artist Herman Brood. After only one listen I am impressed with the energy, wit and vitality of this album. Leave it to Frank to blatantly and unapologetically make a record that flaunts his passion for his own offbeat muse.
The opening track "Captain Pasty" is a slightly muted, though raucous number that immediately goes for the jugular. Playful lyrics also abound. On "Tight Black Rubber" he bellows "I'm all killer, no filler" and "Mary had a little lamb, the shit was pure as snow". Throw on some backing vocals from Kim Deal and this track would easily fit alongside many Pixies classics.
"Angels Come To Comfort You" is a jaunty number that chugs along as Francis sings about Brood's final days, referencing the hotel that Brood died in; "Now the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam/Good enough for John & Yoko man/Now you got the key to #902/Angels come to comfort you". The song ends with Ambulance sirens as the guitar slowly fades out.
The artist formerly known as Frank Black has had a prolific and varied post-Pixies output, and the increasingly slight odds of new material with his old band should not be cause for concern in light of what he is obviously capable of producing himself.
Needless to say, I am having a helluva lot of fun listening to this record so far. It was a much needed boost of hope today. One constant for me over the years is that records still have the power to make me giddy, excitable and believe in the transcendent power of art. I am not sure that a good rock record can save your soul, but it can certainly elevate it. Thanks Frank... er Francis, I mean Mr. Black.....