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

Bossanova

Pixies

1990

Buy At Rough Trade
Bossanova
Album Summary

Bossanova is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Pixies. It was released on August 13, 1990 by English independent record label 4AD in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States. Because of 4AD's independent status, major label Elektra handled distribution in the U.S. Bossanova reached number 70 on the Billboard 200. The album peaked at number three in the UK Albums Chart. Two singles were released from Bossanova: "Velouria" and "Dig for Fire". Both charted on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in the U.S., at No. 4 and No. 11, respectively.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.39

Votes

11582
Genres
Rock
Indie

Reviews

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Wed Dec 15 2021
4

Solid, fun, and creative alt rock, with a bit of a weirdo twist. I think the whole of the album was a little greater than the some of its parts; none of the songs themselves stood out to me significantly, but the album as a whole did. I'm interested to hear some more from them.

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Sun Nov 14 2021
5

Zipless. The best description I read of this album was that it's surf rock for gothic kids who wear black to the beach which is literally me. The album reminds me of the mid-90s and of certain boys. Of all the Pixies albums, Bossanova feels the most realised, taking their strengths and pointing that in a particular direction. Not all the songs work and tbh I would be happy to ditch about half the tracks. But when it opens with the cool surf instro of "Cecilia Ann" and includes the swoony "Ana", the saucy "Down to the Well" and the hip "Hang Wire", there is a lot to love.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
4

When I first heard Bossanova when it was released in 1990, I deemed it a disappointment. This album followed the Pixies "best" records, Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, so it was a tough act to follow and though the opening track instrumental sucked me in, I lost interest in the rest of the album. Fast forward to now and listening with fresher (older) ears, I listened To Bossanova, the whole way through, back to back and have to now reconsider my original opinion. The records good, it engaged me and is much better than I remember and it's better than anything else the Pixies released after. If you don't compare it to the previous albums, on it's own it's a solid album. Thanks album generator for letting me re-discover this underrated near-classic!

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Thu Oct 15 2020
4

The Pixies are a great band if listened to in the right mood/mindset. This album isn't my favorite of theirs but it is the truest to who they are. If you like the Pixies as a band then this is a great album but if you like the Pixies cause you heard them on the radio then you are going to be disappointed by this album.

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Mon May 24 2021
5

This is just a great album. Super fun, razor sharp, and just a bit ridiculous. Nothing to hate, lots to love. Full marks.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
5

I’d been wanting to explore the Pixies for a while and this gave me the perfect excuse. Bossanova is phenomenal. The post punk, surf rock, and folk rock influence is obvious, and their own influence in later bands such as Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, and Nirvana is abundantly clear. So great I immediately started it over

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

My 2nd Pixies Album of the list, this one containing no songs I've heard before. The album is definitely full of the Pixies "sound" though, it's got the surfer-rock tinge while they do their grungy frantic post-punk that you'll come to expect form the band. Really enjoyed this, was consistent and had some good tunes that I've added to the playlist.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
2

My best friend in high school dated a guy whose favorite band was The Pixies. I remember being shocked. The Pixies are cool and all, but *favorite*? Really? Like, just get into Velvet Underground already.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

Not my favorite Pixies album, but it's the fucking Pixies! It rules!

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

It's the Pixies so of course I am going to love it as they are one of my favourite bands. Veloouria and Dig For Fire are the stand out tracks but this album works best listened to in one sitting. When I was first getting into the band I remember a guy in the year above me at school refer to the band as surf music for people who hate the beach. It was a pretty accurate discription.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

Not usually the kind of rock I’m into but I actually really enjoyed the album. Songs were repetitive but fun to listen to

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Tue Feb 23 2021
4

Solid. The beginning of 90s rock, I fucks wit it.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
4

I love the roughness of Pixies records. Some real quality grunge. Dig for Fire is the best track, displaying all the best qualities of the Pixies.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
4

This was a cool listen, with some lesser-known (and new to me) gems. I love the tricks they use in their songs, like a 3-chord repeating chord progression, or those spiky lead lines as countermelody to the vocals.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

In the Sonic Youth vs Pixies war of the early 90’s, I served proudly on the Sonic Youth side. Their sound was cooler: more unpredictable, experimental and unique. Their name was cooler. They were from New York City, man…and the Pixies were from Boston. Rightly or not, these two bands are inextricably linked in my mind as being in opposition to each other, like two sides of a coin. Not that you couldn’t like both bands, but at some point you were going to have an argument with someone about which was better. To this day, I’d take a Sonic Youth record with me to a desert island before a Pixies record. I get why people would enjoy Pixies over Sonic Youth, though. It’s a much easier sound to digest: more conventional and familiar from a rock perspective, with a bit of controlled chaos thrown in. Me? I want to tear it all down, no rules, no adherence to tradition. Dismantle it and put it back together as something new and unique. Through that lens, Bossanova isn’t really anything special: a mostly traditional rock record with noise and aggression sprinkled through out. Especially listening to it now, their loud-quiet-loud formula has been used ad nauseam in mainstream alt-rock for the last few decades. What was once new and fresh is now cliche. Taken through another lens, the classic Pixies records were kind of a blueprint for what was to come. It’s not their fault that they struck gold and everyone else rushed to do the same. They were part of the push to take down the old guard and remake the mainstream for the better, even if it only lasted a couple years before getting swallowed up and re-relegated to the underground. So maybe it shouldn’t have been a discussion of Sonic Youth vs Pixies back then, but a discussion of Sonic Youth *and* Pixies (plus others) vs the world… Sonic Youth is still cooler, though.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
3

Saved Prior: None Saved Off Rip: Cecilia Ann, Velouria, Allison, Ana, Havalina Cutting Edge: Dig for Fire Overall Notes: I REALLY did not like this one at first. Luckily it's pretty short so I could listen to it a bunch of times, and it has very much grown on me. A lot more abrasive than I was expecting going in, but once I more or less knew what was going on in the songs they were pretty good. Excited for the other Pixies albums.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
3

Vous qui suivez mon parcours grâce aux différents partages de localisation qui émanent de mon téléphone portable savez que j'ai écouté cet album alors que je me trouvais dans le Generator Hostel de Hambourg, réputé être un lieu saint de la communauté des 1001. J'étais donc parfaitement disposé à apprécier cet album, et ce fut le cas. J'ai néanmoins été très peiné de voir que Robert Dimery avait décoré son auberge de jeunesse d'une fresque constituée de différents albums recalés de la liste. Une vidéo prise en caméra cachée par mes soins pourra servir de preuve en cas de besoin.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
2

This album didn't really move the needle for me. After the second track I almost turned it off, but then settled in as some decent background music, so it wasn't bad enough for me to turn it off, there's that I guess.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
2

This is their third album. Apparently their second, "Doolittle," is the one everyone loves... so why am i listening to this one? The album is fine. I like "Allison." LOL at bass players: Two weeks later, Francis placed an advertisement seeking a bass player who liked both the folk act Peter, Paul and Mary and the alternative rock band Hüsker Dü.[6] Kim Deal was the only respondent, and arrived at the audition without a bass, as she had never played one before.[7][8] She was invited to join as she liked the songs Francis showed her. She obtained a bass, and the trio started rehearsing in Deal's apartment.[9]

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Fri Jan 22 2021
2

Pixies always good, but nothing struck out to me here

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Thu Jul 22 2021
2

It's OK. Just average alt rock. I won't listen to it again and don't remember a single note of it.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
2

Not as disappointing as Surfer Rosa. Still a chore to allow to proceed through all 14 tracks and 44 minutes. Best track: the Happening

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

Great album and great band that I only knew from "Where is my mind". Also their bassist is from Dayton

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Mon May 24 2021
5

my favourite album at the moment love it <3

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Mon May 24 2021
5

this was a great album. a couple of songs lacked a bit of OOMF but honestly it was all really incredible music 🥡

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Fri May 07 2021
5

Best Pixies album, blends alt-rock with wildly experimental tones and just a perfect touch of surf

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Wed Jun 30 2021
5

One of my favorite bands, a really good album by them, not my favorite. nice mix of sounds.. i love ana, all over the world, is she weird

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Sun Aug 15 2021
5

Sóc poc objectiu amb aquest disc, perquè el vaig descobrir molt jove i des de la primera escolta em va semblar una obra maestra. Ja no és que no tingui temes fluixos, és que tots i cada un d'ells és una joia a disfrutar cada vegada que s'escolta. Un dels discos que mai em canso de sentir, i un dels pocs que em fan sentir orgullós de l'edat que tinc

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

Typische Pixies-sound. And I like it

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

Not regarded by most as such, but for me this is the best album from one of my favourite bands. So weird and otherworldly but at the same time melodic and familiar. Simply amazing!!

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

It's like listening to an alt punk version of the Beatles...quick songs that hit and then move you on to the next...my wife love Velouria and its quickly become one of my favs on this album as well

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

Can see why this is considered so influential. I’ve never really given them a shot, but this was quite a ride. Loved it!!

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

WAT EEN BEGIN goeie variatie production 🤌🏻 love this shit

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Good. Seems basic but probably only because they influenced so much

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Your mouth’s a mile away - Rock music My velouria, my velouria Even I’ll adore you, my velouria Even I’ll adore you, my velouria Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah - Velouria When the planets hit the sun I saw the face of Allison -Allison Is she weird Is she white Is she promised to the night And her head has no room - is she weird

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

A confession from someone who considers themselves a Pixies fan: I only ever had their "Death to the Pixies" compilation, and I always thought it was enough. Then I saw them live in Cardiff in 2016 and did not enjoy them one bit, there was no audience engagement or energy. But this album has reaffirmed my love of Pixies; it's nice to hear the classics from "Death to..." alongside some songs I've never heard before, all of which are good.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

I was so excited to see Pixies coming up and even more excited about Bossanova being assigned to me for the occasion. I love this record, actually I love all the Pixies records, but hey, great starting point.  Cecilia Ann starts off the album with clearly a surf influence. Then Rock Music comes in and Black Francis voice sounds more demonic than ever, while Santiago puts his guitar on fire (I can't help but thinking of that moment of the show where Santiago makes his guitar squeak and squeal and even if it's not the case you would think that he is alone on the stage, but I think about that specific moment in several points of this album).  Two songs later we are treated with Is She Weird, probably my favourite song ever; nobody knows what is it about but I could listen to this 28 times in a row and sing along (shout along!) every single time. It's right here in my opinion that the album really takes off: Ana is such a sweet song, with all those subdued guitar parts and the almost whispered backing vocals; kind of the same trick on All Over The World, but with more loud parts and with an epic ending (Santiago again center stage). It's a great transition into the kind-of-funky Dig For Fire. Has anyone else heard those ghostly voices in the background on Down To The Well? And what to say about The Happening? It's irresistible, if you don't bounce your head and/or dance to this song you are not from this planet, but neither Pixies are so nothing wrong with you. And then it comes Blown Away which in some ways show the direction they would take on Trompe Le Monde (controversially, my favourite album of theirs ever!). Hang Wire comes storming before Stormy Weather almost at the end of the album and then you realize that they haven't let go for a single second. That's a magnificent run of songs!  And finally Havalina sort of comes back to the mood of Cecilia Ann.  I don't know if I should say that this is a masterpiece, but I really really love this album and I know I already said it but there it is. 

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Fri Apr 15 2022
5

I wrote a one act about this band

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

Pixies is altijd goed! De platen uit de 90's welteverstaan. Dig For Fire van deze plaat is echt een van hun beste tracks (naar mijn bescheiden mening)

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Thu Apr 21 2022
5

Geweldige plaat, misschien dat ik Doolittle nog iets beter vind, maar sowieso krijgen alle Pixies platen 5 sterren

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

The slick noise of postpunk. The wooshy riffs of grunge. And the irresistible grooves of alt-rock as a whole. It has everything that I love about '90s rock. Whether it's a wild experimental rock album or an early catalyst in the '90s alt-rock tsunami (released a year before Nirvana's "Nevermind"!), this album is an adventure from start to finish.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

Aww, I haven't listened to this album in full in a really long time. It was in my heavy rotation during my sophomore year in college though. 1989-91 was peak time to be a Pixie's fan. Little did we know the albums weren't going to keep coming out every year like that. This isn't the album that immediately comes to mind when I think of the Pixies, but Bossanova is still light years beyond most of the alternative albums that were out in 1990. It's missing some of that frenetic wildness of the earlier albums, but it's no less creative. The album is more polished, maybe a tad more accessible than previous efforts. It follows along the same lines from the previous year's Doolittle, with a catchier and more melodic sound. The Pixie's have an incredibly unique style, that twisted surfer from hell vibe with the strange cryptic lyrics... that hit all the right notes with weird kids like me. The songs are full of great tonal shifts from the quiet to the melodic to the raging. There aren't a lot of bands I can think of who float so effortlessly from pretty to ugly and back. It can be startling, but it's also exhilarating in a way no other band really captures. It goes without saying that nobody screams like Black Francis/Frank Black. What tempers that rage is of course the haunting softness of Kim Deal. There is some kind of special magic between those two when they hit an off-kilter harmony together. Musically, everyone is on point here. Joey Santiago's guitar is blisteringly good, Deal's bass is solid, David Lovering's drums are propulsive and energetic. I agree with the reviewer who said this album is greater than the sum of its parts. This is an album to enjoy in full, but it's more than worth the time. It also grows on you with repeated listens. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Dig for Fire, Havalina, Rock Music, Down to the Well, Stormy Weather, Blown Away, Velouria, The Happening, Cecilia Ann, Ana, Allison, Hang Wire, All Over the World, Is She Weird

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Sun May 01 2022
5

5* every day Album 3 by Pixies and they are still crunching out fresh whopper tunes as tho it’s their 1st album. There are many references to a best debut category. If there was a best first 3 albums band it could only be Pixies. Cover art 5/5. I love every cover on the 4AD label

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Fri May 27 2022
5

The Pixies are a band that gave the world everything good about 90s indie rock. Without their loud-quiet-loudagain style there would have been no Nirvana either. A band to cherish.

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Mon May 30 2022
5

Class Pixies. Brilliant originals.

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Fri Jun 17 2022
5

Harder pixies album. All about it

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

It's surf rock meets punk meets indie rock meets pop meets sci-fi obsession meets teenage lust. Or, should I say, it's Dick Dale meets Hüsker Dü meets REM meets Ed Wood meets The Shangri-Las. It's those explosive chord changes and barks by Black Francis. It's those spacey solos by Joey Santiago. It's those straightfaced background vocals and straightforward basslines by Kim Deal. It's those metronomic gated drums by David Lowering. It's Gil Norton's streamlined production. It's that stellar songwriting all around, minus a very few patchy songs here and there (4.5/5 would be my exact score for this particular record, but let's not split hairs, there's enough great stuff in it to justify its presence on the list). It's a good memory, but not only that: I must have listened to the first four albums from this legendary band a thousand times, but everytime this app points me to one of them, I bob my head to it just like I did during the nineties. It's cinematic AND musical. It's wild AND melodic. It's definitely from the nineties as I said, but it also has that late fifties/early sixties mood and atmosphere to it. It's like no other band. It's the apex of early indie rock, one that would reshuffle all cards in the decade to come. It's lively. It's catchy. It's terrific. It's the frigging Pixies in their heyday. Enough said. Oh, I almost forgot. As I'm spinning "Bossanova" in my living room right now, my 16-year old stepson just told me how much he loves this band too. He definitely comes from another day and age, musically speaking. But he can recognize truly awesome stuff when he stumbles upon it. A timeless record. One of the very few you can find out there. Keep them coming, Dimery and co. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 882 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 63 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 29 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 27

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Tue Jun 28 2022
5

The third best Pixies album by a distance and still a solid 5. Says it all about how utterly incredible they were in their heyday. They were more consistent than SHACK's weekly Tesco big shop. N.B. For those interested the weekly Tesco big shop consists of 24 chicken breasts (reduced value only), 64 large eggs (each carefully checked for damage before purchase), 6 packets of bacon (lovingly referred to as "that ham you eat hot"), as many lamb chops as his meaty arms can carry and 1 carrot (to help him see in the dark). He goes to Marks & Spencer for his bits.

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Tue Jun 28 2022
5

What a band! This may not be their best but still 5 stars easily.

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Tue Jun 28 2022
5

This was my favourite Pixies album for many years - in my memory it was quite a big thing when it got released - Pixies were relatively popular in the Netherlands (see the VPRO Onrust en Pinkpop '89 videos on Youtube - especially the VPRO recordings are as great as ever). Of course the previous albums are just as good. All 5 stars.

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Wed Jul 13 2022
5

"I was trying to write the ultimate pop song. I was basically trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it." - Kurt Cobain. Pixies are arguably my favorite and most influential band to my taste in music. If you enjoy this, check out Surfer Rosa and Doolittle - their best albums.

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Thu Aug 11 2022
5

the only pixies album i had listened to before this one was Doolittle, and to be quite frank i think i like this one more. the best song of ever shows up here (rock music), and cuts like allison, is she weird, dig for fire, and hang wire are some fantastic songs. no misses on this, genuinely a perfect piece in the pixies discography.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

This is real nice ! Can be listened very easily.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

The last great Pixies album.

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

Great album. Already loved it. 5/5

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

First Pixies record I ever bought. Played the hell out of it, but as I started collecting the rest of their records this one became the least favorite of them all as a teenager. Listening to this now; I don't know why this ever fell to the bottom. The reverbed out guitar, the super clean vocal harmonies, Black Francis' range from velvety smooth to gnarly growls, experimenting with the spacey dissonant melodies that made Trompe Le Monde such a great album. Easily a 5/5 album.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

I don't know how the pixies do it. Not necessarily always melodic or approachable, it is entirely engaging... with a variety that covers anger & energy as well songs with an ethereal quality. Fantastic.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

Just matchless. A classic test of a great album is that different songs reveal themselves over time. On this listen the vocals and guitar on The Happening are just amazing.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

beautiful. every song is a masterpiece. would be a crime to rate this less than a 5.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

my favorite Pixies album. The production might be a bit polished for some but the songs are really great (and Gil Norton rules anyway). Fantastic

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Thu Nov 10 2022
5

Nice album. I loved how there was some 'heavy' tracks and some that are associated with pixies in my head. Atmospheric, light&heavy. I really love style of Pixies. Reverbing guitar, strange in a good way lyrics. Sometimes a had a feeling that I wasn't listening to same group, but at the same time all tracks compliment each other well.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

Great stuff incredible that it was made in 1990

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Mon Dec 05 2022
5

Maybe a few songs are unnecessary, but what's good is so good

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Sat Jan 21 2023
5

Really great album, interesting sound and vocals.

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Thu Mar 02 2023
5

Classic. Perhaps not their best, but up there with them.

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Mon Mar 06 2023
5

My first trip through Bossanova had me thinking: "This sounds like Pixies but its not weird enough! Two stars." I had to listen to the album twice before I understood how weird it is and I like it very much.

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Sat Mar 11 2023
5

Great album, seriously enjoyed it. SO many good songs. Saved tracks: Cecilia Ann, Allison, All Over the World, The Happening

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Sat Mar 11 2023
5

This album is just banger after banger! Love it!

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Sun Mar 12 2023
5

The kind of album I came here for. And the kind of album I wish I was aware of when it came out. The question is, would 12 year old me have appreciated it at the time? Probably not. It’s a 5 now though. 1 - bad 2 - average 3 - good 4 - great 5 - outstanding

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Thu Mar 16 2023
5

I think I have to rate this 5 stars because I can't find anything wrong with it. Who knew?!

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Tue Mar 21 2023
5

Some hints of The Saints, but a very fresh, original sound. "Is She Weird" is the earworm song of the day. The rest of this album was terrific from start to finish. Definitely one that I'm happy made this list.

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Sat Apr 15 2023
5

There wasn’t a moment where my foot wasn’t tapping.

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Tue May 02 2023
5

Great album, even though the constant dynamic puts me to sleep at some points

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Thu May 04 2023
5

Pixies at their best! Great album

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Tue May 09 2023
5

Det här tyckte jag mycket om!

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Mon May 29 2023
5

As a Pixies fan this is an album I´m always curious about, because it has the band spirit, but on its own way. It starts with an amazing instrumental song (Cecilia Ann), and then with one of the heaviest songs of this band (ironically called "Rock Music"), making a weird, but amazing experience. During the whole record the band knows to continue with the energy that represents them. Even if its not their best album, anyway, I just love this band. Fav Tracks: Cecilia Ann, All over the word, Down to the well, The Happening.

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Sat Jun 10 2023
5

Love the Pixies and this is one of their best.

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Tue Jun 13 2023
5

Listened to it while walking. My dog and I felt cool; like we should’ve been wearing leather jackets and sunglasses. Bass parts were fun.

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Sat Jun 17 2023
5

It was nice to hear something by the Pixies other than “Where Is My Mind?” and “Hey” for once. I wasn’t properly acquainted with them beforehand. I can now see why they’re so highly regarded and influential. They are true artists in their craft.

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Wed Jul 12 2023
5

What a great album. I'd call this close to 5*

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Tue Aug 22 2023
5

Another early Pixies album so of course another 5 stars mark. This one all is all more melodic than the other ones. Starts and ends with two very easily listening surf songs, Cecilia Ann and Havelina, and in between everything is going on: My favorites: Rock Music 2 minutes noise, makes the imitations like Blur's Song # 2 music for toddlers Ana: makes you shiver, so beautiful, and that in 2 minutes. Who needs these 8 min long terrible rock ballads? The Happening: Best Pixies song ever. Black Francis and UFO's and Roswell Part 1 Part 2 is on the Trompe Le Monde album, motorway to Roswell: Last night he could not make it He tried hard but could not make it Last night he could not make it On a holiday, so many miles Looking for a place to stay Near some friendly star, he found this mote And now we wonder where we are Poor alien, life on earth is a bitch Love the Pixies.

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