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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Teenager Of The Year

Frank Black

1994

Teenager Of The Year

Album Summary

Teenager of the Year is the second solo studio album by American musician Frank Black. The album was released in 1994 by 4AD in the United Kingdom and Elektra Records in the United States. It was co-produced by former Pere Ubu member Eric Drew Feldman, who also played keyboards on the album. Teenager also features work by several backing musicians, including Lyle Workman, Moris Tepper and Black's Pixies bandmate Joey Santiago. The album reached No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and No. 131 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1994. The single "Headache" reached No. 10 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart that year.Although not originally well-received, the record is now widely praised by both critics and fans. The album is often cited as the high-point of Francis' post-Pixies catalogue, and was ranked No. 94 on Pitchfork's "Top 100 Albums of the 1990s".

Wikipedia

Rating

2.98

Votes

5166

Genres

  • Indie
  • Rock
Reviews
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Wed Jul 07 2021
4

I was voted teenager of the year in 1997. Incredible that I won it really, having only been a teenager for 14 days, but there you go. I remember Scott Kelly being particularly upset by this as he'd been a teenager for longer. He now goes by the username of spackers, so that's the kind of guy he is and shows you that he never stood a chance. Spackers. I mean, come on. Anyway, this album was good.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
1

How this is in the list I'll never know

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Fri Mar 05 2021
3

I had a feeling as soon as I mentioned the hot streak we'd lose it. This isn't bad though. Apparently Frank Black is part of the Pixies, I do like what I've heard from them. Sometimes his singing reminds me of Lou Reed and Mark Kozelek. Many of the songs feel like fragments, but there's a good force of rock driving throughout. This seems like a really creative guy who felt repressed by being in a band, so he's letting it all out in a solo project. I respect that, even though I don't love the final product. There are a few good tracks sprinkled throughout, but as a whole it's nothing too impressive. Favorite tracks: Calistan, Headache, Abstract Plain. Album art: This made me laugh when I saw it last night. It's a cool cover, but what? Why was this big adult man coronated "teenager of the year"? Why is his free hand aimed to roast someone with a "what are thoooose"? 3/5

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Wed May 11 2022
3

Teenager of the Year is too much long for it's own good. There are songs strewn throughout the album where there are moments that stick long enough to be memorable and where songs can be utterly forgettable. If this were split into two albums, maybe it could be a better overall achievement by Frank Black but, as one whole, it's okay. Favorites: Whatever Happened to Pong?, (I Want to Live on an) Abstract Plain, Calistan, Freedom Rock, Fiddle Riddle, Olé Mulholland, I Could Stay Here Forever, Pure Denizens of the Citizens Band.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
2

It was a little bit awful

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Sat Jan 30 2021
5

I really enjoyed this, it was a chaotic mess that reminded me of a more grungy They Might Be Giants at times? Need to look into more Frank Black and The Pixies. "Headache" was the best track, but there were a lot of tracks I was fond of. "Ole Mulholland", "Space is Gonna Do Me Good", "Thalassocracy".

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Thu Nov 04 2021
5

I LOVE this album cover and title. I also read that Frank Black was legitimately named Teenager of the Year. So I really wanted to love this. I didn’t think I had heard Frank Black before, but I did have in my library his cover of “Sugar Daddy” from the Wig In A Box album celebrating the music from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The Pixies are also a band I feel like I should know but don’t. So I’m jazzed to listen to this… I started off wondering if this was a punk album, but while the influences are strong it’s not that... “(I Want To Live On An) Abstract Plain” and “Calistan” are amazing! The guitar solo is awesome in “The Vanishing Spies”. “Speedy Marie” is fantastic and introduced me to the word ‘romaunt’. This is a smart album! Then comes “Headache” - another incredible song. Wow wow wow! A song about the aqueducts built by Mulholland?! Holy shit! This album is officially off the hook incredible. How many times can I keep saying how great a song is? How many songs are on this album…? A song about ‘pong’?! ‘Pachinko’ and ‘Parcheesi’?! Rhyming ‘potlatch’ with ‘Sasquatch’?! ‘Chateaubriand’ in the lyrics?! Photon powered spacecraft?! The 60s sci fi show The Invaders?! Not to mention I now know the word ‘thalassocracy’! Throw in catchy as hell music and… LOVE LOVE LOVE! You know an album is great when you keep saying ‘oh THIS is the best song on the album’ over and over as you listen. TEENAGER OF THE YEAR has that. It is a fantastic album that I can’t wait to listen to again. So much going on and so much still to discover!

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

If anyone is familiar with Jeff Tweedy's (Wilco frontman) first band Uncle Tupelo, this album has a few songs that sound just like it and I love them. Never explored the Pixies much further than the hits, and always thought they were just eh. But I was really digging this guys style. Alternative with a slight country influence at times. Made for some earnest songwriting.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

You'd be forgiven for not realizing this is the main dude from the Pixies, when he went by the stage name Black Francis. Apparently this thing came out in May, 1994, but this is my first time ever hearing of it. In fact, my only familiarity with Black Francis/Frank Black's solo work is a great cover he did of The Beach Boys' "Hang On To Your Ego". There's a very good chance that if I had more than 24-hours to sit with this album, it would warrant a beloved 5 rating.

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Mon Dec 12 2022
3

The older I get, the less tolerance I have for double albums. Give me a concise 40-45 minute record, with just your best shit. Leave me wanting more, don’t make me want to walk away because you keep rambling. Save the rest for a bonus ep or another standalone record. There are very few double albums that justify being 65-80 minutes long and Teenager of the Year isn’t one of them. There’s probably a great, 5 star, record in here, but there’s too much similar sounding sprawl to make this a concise, enjoyable experience. Let’s be honest, no one needed a Frank Black reggae/dub excursion, which underscores my point about double records: just because you can do something (fill a cd with 80 minutes of music, record a reggae track) doesn’t mean you should. The best parts of this record are when the song structures get a little complex and the instrumentation gets varied (though a lot the synths and keys on this record definitely sound dated). I wouldn’t call them “prog” songs, but they are certainly “prog-like”. Even then, these songs become indistinguishable towards the end. As whole, the album attempts eschew formula with varied stylistic choices, but the songs themselves all follow a very similar formula. 13 or 14 songs into Teenager of the Year, you’ll probably be thinking to yourself, “Ok, I get it already” or “didn’t I hear this song already?”. Then, you’ll realize you still have another 8 or 9 tracks to go.

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Sun Oct 31 2021
1

Fitting that the most popular song on the album is called Headache. Did not like it very much. Not worth a listen to me. 1

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

What lovely off the beaten path subversive alt pop

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

awesome!! Pixies

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Everything is not good, but there are plenty of good songs, some even reminding me of Dire Straits.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

I like Pixies. I like Frank Black. I See FB and I upvote

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

Love this album overall. Freedom Rock lives in my head rent free.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

One of my top 20 albums of all time.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

You’re like wtf is this? Then it grows on you. Is it good you ask? Idk I listen to the whole thing and I’m still puzzled.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

Loved it. Loved the Pixies.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
5

4.5/5. Very consistent for so many songs. Can definitely see it influencing Toadies, POTUS, etc.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

Un clasico

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Love Frank, Love This

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

I love that Charles Thompson IV took his initial stage name of Black Francis and flipped it to Frank Black as he set off on his solo career. But as a big Pixies fan who never listened to Black's solo work, I started "Teenager of the Year" with unreasonable expectations. I liked a few songs on the first half of this double album, but somehow I got to track 10, "Two Reelers," before I got the Pixies feel I was hoping for. Then I really liked most of the rest of the album. And I kept thinking, what was going on with the first half - were there just too many songs that should have been cut from an overstuffed album? So I had to give it another listen. And not only is the first half better than I initially gave it credit for, but the whole album is fantastic. You're gonna have some misses among 22 tracks, but the overall quality and variety while still maintaining much more Black Francis-ness than I first gave it credit for is a joy. The Pixies were never a big commercial hit, and Black's solo stuff even less so. But this album definitely deserved to be held among the best of its time. Though I'm sure part of the problem was that this came out in 1994, a year with an absolute glut of completely amazing rock music. It's probably generational, but for me it might be rock's greatest year.

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Thu May 12 2022
5

Never ad erd of deez but its qite nice and feels qite of the time.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

There is something really quite special when an album you love but never imagined would make it on the list comes up. And so, here we are, with Frank Black’s second solo album (his first is also pretty good). Unleashed from the now split Pixies (temporarily split, as it turns out) although still working with Joey Santiago who delivers some fine guitar solos, Black indulges his love of space, aliens, conspiracies, sci fi, deserts and his and the water supply to California. Most tracks are short, snappy and punchy, (The Hostess with the Mostest is a nifty slice of diner pie clocking in at 1m 56s) alongside some extended surf rock and ska tracks. At the time, many called this ‘Pixies on the Beach’ and whilst there is light and sunshine here, Black’s oddities and obsession never quite put the listener at ease. But he’s clearly enjoying creating some pop rock tunes, singing not screaming and it makes for a fun, quirky, terrific record.

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Fri Dec 23 2022
5

Неожиданно круто

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Wed Dec 28 2022
5

Because of Pixies

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Wed Feb 01 2023
5

Very impressed! What a great surprise!

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Pixies frontman. Pretty decent.

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Tue Sep 29 2020
4

Sounds very 90s. lots of songs.

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Sun Nov 08 2020
4

Quintessential Frank Black. A very solid effort in which the listener can cleay hear both its infuences and what it went on to inspire.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
4

Pixie Dust!

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Good rock album Didn't know he was the vocalist of pixies

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

A very pleasant surprise.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

A lot of the stronger songs are in the middle and are sandwiched between some underdeveloped sketches (brilliant ones by a Michelangelo-level artist but still, sketches). Great album regardless and this Aussie gives Teenager of the Year four meat pies while watching some footy with your mates out of five.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

I enjoyed it a lot, it's a lot better in the middle, I really liked the speedy something song? I should listen to this one again.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

On the fence about this one, good or great. Overlong, and could certainly have been tightened up, but a lot of it rocks pretty hard

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Wasn't sure about this at first but then really got into it. Now I know he is the lead singer of Pixies, it makes a lot more sense. Listened twice - was good

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Wed May 05 2021
4

This album totally escaped my radar, but it's quintessentially 90's alt-rock. Fun to listen, ejoyable melodies, round compositions, memorable. Like it!

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

1994, Alternative Rock, Frontmann von Pixies, sind banger dabei, stabiles Album, hard, seichte 4

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Dette vokste på meg!

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

Kinda enjoyed

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

One of my favorite singers, and one of my favorite albums

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Sun Feb 14 2021
4

Going by the album cover and the fact I’d never heard of the band before let alone their music I was not entirely sure what I was in for, but I didn’t have great vibes. The saying goes ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover...’ and its entirely applicable in this example. I was pleased to hear the sweet sound of distorted guitar instead of the doof of bass when the first track started and I found it enjoyable from then on. The songs are all unique enough from each other but still hold a comparative southern rock grit that holds them all together. Vocals are a mix of Curt Cobain crossed with Chris Ballew (Pres USA), which sometimes sound as though they are going to stretch the bounds of listenability, but are actually well controlled and at times even tender. They are dirty and strained yet also compassionate and haunting at all the right times. While the music does have a 90’s feel to it, you wouldn’t immediately guess the album was from that decade. This album is guaranteed to win you over the more and more you listen. It’s a creeper in that sense. So put your prejudices aside and settle in...you’re in for a good time ride. Four stars!

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

A very fun and well written punky/alt rock record, but it really didn’t need to be a whole hour long. Takes away from the energy and sustainability of the record.

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Can't believe I'd never heard of this album. Some great tunes.

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Now this is a lit album. Glad was able to listen to it

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Tue May 11 2021
4

This was a good one! Ratteling punkish, in the pixies-zone

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Mon Jul 26 2021
4

A fabulous stand-in for a true Pixies album, though the double-album length certainly seems to wear a little thin towards the end (the last 2 songs seems throwaway). Still, enough angst and energy to thoroughly enjoy.

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Mon Jul 26 2021
4

Love the Pixies, and this is more of the same. I guess I just like the dominating base lines and escalating guitars.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

So, Frank Black , aka Black Frances, aka Charles Thompson IV is the lead singer of the Pixies! Didn't know that. I enjoyed this and really did get some Dire Straits vibes on a couple songs. References a Wrinkle in Time in Headache, so its got to be good. 4

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Mon Sep 27 2021
4

No sabía quién era Frank Black y luego de escuchar un par de canciones y decirme "esto me suena a Pixies", vi por qué. Y es un álbum que siento que sonó fresco en su momento, menos "ruidoso" que lo que hacía con la banda, pero igual de enérgico, mis favoritas fueron "Thalassocracy", "Big Red", "Headache" y "I Could Stay Here Forever" 8/10.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

-I like the heavy start in "Whatever Happened To Pong?" -The intro to "Freedom Rock" definitely sounds like a riff I've heard before. Also the drums are great -I like the scream/jam in "Pie In The Sky" -Generally solid

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

What can I say, never heard of Frank...but loved this. Will look for more!!!

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

I always assumed I loved the Pixies, but it turns out I like the Pixies greatest hits album mostly. The big studio records seemd to have a lot of filler to me the last time I listened to them. (As always I reserve the right to completely 180 any and all of my opinions at whim). This solo album though seems much more my speed. Fiddle Riddle is a highlight for sure.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

Halfway through and this album sounds like a descent into madness. Starts really punky and turns into this weird synthy jam band. I dug it though

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

pop punk with some Beefheart overtones - short sharp songs packed with hooks and tunes.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
4

Quirky pop/rock aplenty. I love this guy's brain. Dude writes about anything and everything, and gives zero fucks about current musical trends.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Solid alt rock, if a little long for an album. I like that the songs are all pretty short and I could get more into this if I was like 10-15 years older than I am. 7/10

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

7/10. Forgot to leave a review while this was fresh in my mind, but this was solid. Should return to it at some point.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

7/10 really catchy post-grunge stuff. good songs but way too many of them, would've made a great 40 minute album.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
4

I really enjoyed listening to this album! I knew ‘Headache’ but not the other songs. I’ll definitely return to this one.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
4

I listened to this twice and loved it, but don't have much to say about it for some reason. Except that I think it's interesting that he was the front man of the Pixies and I wonder if he thinks that those were his better years or not!

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Wed Dec 22 2021
4

Sounds more like pixies than Catholics albums. Need more time with it

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Mon Jan 10 2022
4

First time of listening to this one, I love the Pixies and this is relatable to them. I liked "Whatever Happened to Pong?" full of fast, quick songs that are exhilarating. "(I Want To live On An) Abstract Plain" is great and Frank at his tuneful best I think. Links to Lou Reed and Velvet underground can be heard throughout. Great album and rightfully on the list in my opinion.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

How did I miss Frank Black back in the day?

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

This was really good, I liked the late-punk vibe. Reminded me of the Pixies.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

þetta var bara frekar decent shit to be perfectly honest, henti þessu í gegn einu sinni og fannst nokkur lögin bara mjög skemmtileg, get alveg ímyndað mér að hlusta oftar á þetta, þetta eru amk 3.5 stjörnur, veit ekki alveg hvort þetta fljúgi upp í 4, segjum 4 bara til að vera góður.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
4

Really nice! I haven’t listened to Pixies very much (or his solo work), but I will definitely return to this record.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
4

Ex Vocalista do Pixies em seu trabalho solo. Legal, gostei, meio alternativo, meio rock. Melhores músicas: Two Reelers e Space gonna do me good

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Gutes Album mit einigen starken Tracks, was aber irgendwann etwas "dahinplätschert". Irgendwas zwischen 3 und 4, aber eher eine 4 als eine 3.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
4

Неожиданный альбом Естественно тем, что хорош Тем более в такой момент. В который раз убеждаюсь - Открытия могут быть всегда Йогурт или альбом - это не важно На самом деле как желанное дитя Если бы гранж и инди его имели!

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Fri Mar 04 2022
4

Better than expected. Heard the Pixies decades ago and wasn't keen. Varied influences from the 50s through the 90s. Great songwriting and some lovely guitar. Maybe a bit manic in parts.

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Thu Mar 17 2022
4

Frank Black, Black Francis, Charles, whoever you are on any given day, I love listening to you! I'll always love your work with the Pixies best, but this is a great fucking album. Even though we still get the maximum amount of bizarreness and grime in every track, it feels a bit more refined than Pixies albums do. Like all that bizarreness and grime has been passed through a fine mesh strainer. I do think the runtime is a little long, it could have benefited from some streamlining, but I love it.

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Fri Mar 18 2022
4

Some great tracks but did it need to be over an hour long?

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Mon Apr 11 2022
4

Rocky

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Fri Apr 29 2022
4

enjoyable

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Mon May 30 2022
4

Very good. A bit rambling at points, but pleasantly rambling. Sounded more like Dylan than I had expected, and lots of influence from The Clash too. Clear distinction from his work with the Pixies, which I was kind of not really thinking it would be. Oddly, it made me want to listen to Pixies rather than more of his solo stuff though - just cos I know it better.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
4

As a Pixies fan, I was excited, but at it's best this is only mid-level Pixies. I guess it's an album to make me appreciate Kim Deal and Joey Santiago more (though apparently Santiago did contribute some guitar work). Not bad though, just, not as good as his other work. So...the above is my draft from listening to the first half or so of this yesterday...but listening to the second half it grew on me...not sure if I changed or the songs, but I can hear the Pixies-ishness more and I really dug it. Gonna bounce this up to a 4.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
4

Enjoyable. Some solid tunes. 3.5/5 rounded up.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

Heel duidelijk wat Pixies meegenomen naar z'n solo werk

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Mon Jul 18 2022
4

This was an... odd album. It's a rock-pop mix of mostly short songs, few of which stand out in any way. Many of the songs have a certain humorous vibe to them which gives the album as a whole a sorta cynical-funny mix of looking at things which is quite fun, especially tracks like "Abstract Plain", "Sir Rockaby" and "White Noise Maker". I think the one big standout track of the album is "Freedom Rock", where the instrumental work is given a bit more focus, especially in the song's intro. Overall a good listen, but not really something I'd particularly recommend.

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Thu Aug 11 2022
4

This was good but not good enough to break up the Pixies for lol

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Mon Aug 22 2022
4

Rox

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

New to me, as a Pixies fan. Exactly what I would want from his solo work. Has those never ending guitar chords that spiral up to a climax that never comes. May have been a better album experience if truncated to a single LP. (3.75)

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Fri Oct 07 2022
4

Es bastante sorprendente y está bastante bien

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Wed Oct 12 2022
4

I went back and forth about this album. There were a number of songs I liked, and a number of songs that I kind of scratched my head about. They were short, and didn't seem to go anywhere. It's like they were underdeveloped ideas that could have used someone to bounce ideas off of. I can hear the obvious influence that Black and the Pixies had on a lot of later American music. They did stuff that a lot of bands used to make that grunge and alternative sound. Truly ahead of their time. On the strength of songs like "Two Reelers" and "Ole Mulholland," I am going to give this a 4, but it's a pretty weak 4. A lot of this was relistenable and enjoyable, but some of the shorter songs were very undercooked IMO.

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Sun Oct 16 2022
4

J'ai beaucoup aimé cet album de la baleine Franck Black, notamment le moment où ce dernier remonte à la surface prendre sa respiration, expulsant l'eau présente dans ses poumons d'un splendide geyser aquatique.

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Sun Oct 23 2022
4

He does a good job of combining different genres to make an overall enjoyable and fun album that is rewarding to listen to. 4/5

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

I liked this album. Heard of it before but didn't ever listen.

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Mon Nov 07 2022
4

There's a real Pixies feel to this and I really like it. The guy's really talented and there's a variety to this too that makes it worth listening the whole way through.

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Thu Nov 10 2022
4

Old enough to remember the Pixies breaking up, and yet, despite my love of Come on Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa, and Doolittle I didn't track Frank Black after the breakup. Fast-Forward five years to a friend forcing this album on me saying Frank Black deserves my attention. Looking back I'm surprised Mr. Black didn't track right after the breakup. The first 2/3 of this record is right up my alley. Really, it's only at song #21 that I start to think this thing has gone on a little too long. And then BOOM! it's over at the end of song #22. So there you go. Maybe if he had released four fewer songs in 94, I would've been converted. As it stands, I still saw Frank Black and the Catholics in 1999 after that same friend had put the CD in my hand as a hook to get me to buy a ticket to the show. Lots of these songs were played and played well. The record still holds up here on an abstract plain at the end of 2022.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
4

There's only two Frank Black records I really like without the involvement of Kim Deal. The amazing Honeycomb and this. Lots of pretty short, spiky songs and one stone cold, copper bottomed, tin hatted classic in Headache.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

I liked it more than expected. Needs the Pixies to be amazing

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

Whyyyy is this so long

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Sun Dec 04 2022
4

Impressive record with a great sound. The songs are really interesting and the tracklist flows perfectly. Maybe this is not at the level of the best Pixies, but the final result is more than enjoyable.

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Mon Dec 19 2022
4

yassified david brent

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Fri Dec 23 2022
4

Cool

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

Well this was a great surprise Started off sounding like Pixies redux but then got good and then kept getting better Really liked this

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Fri Nov 06 2020
3

p good

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