Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Teenager Of The Year

I reiterate what it says over on the right there, I am currently listening to my entire CD collection on my commute to work between Stafford and Birmingham. The rules are simple, its only albums, EP’s, Singles and the odd discretionary mini album are not listened to, I listen to them for the entire journey there and back and then I tell you what I think about it, giving it largely a mark out of ten. The CD’s are filed in loosely alphabetical order and today that alphabetical order has bought me to Frank Blacks sophomore release, Teenager Of The Year.
This album, like all of the Frank Black albums are my wifes, when the Pixies split up, my path was that of the Deal and not the Black, my wife on the other hand chose both paths, I personally do not own any Frank Black and the material she foisted on me was not enjoyed at all. That’s the back story anyway.
This album is notable for many things, firstly the back up band features Pixies guitarist, Joey Santiago, and it doesn’t take much craning of the ear to pick out his licks, this album also features Captain Beefheart member Eric Drew Feldman, he also played keyboards on the final Pixies album Trompe Le Monde, finally, and this was something I didn’t know until today, also playing guitar on this album is Lyle Workman, Lyle Workman amongst other notable achievements composed the soundtrack to the film Superbad, which is way cooler than Captain Beefheart.
So what of the album? In that Bad Religion was the wrong soundtrack to an early morning commute, Frank Black and this album perhaps in particular were the perfect soundtrack, its utterly diverse enough for every song to warrant attention, it isn’t a difficult listen but it isn’t an easy one. The songs certainly for me invoke sunshine and not showers and if there is a message, its really OK if you don’t get it.
It weighs in at 22 or 23 songs long and not a single song made me think, perhaps I could skip this one. It surprised me, it surprised me because I must have heard this album around ten times and didn’t enjoy a single listen, may be I was too young to appreciate it.
You may think, well you love the Pixies, so you are of course going to love this, not entirely true, yes I do love the Pixies but I really didn’t get the Frank Black solo thing.
So that all said, Teenager of the Year gets a nice surprising 8 out of 10

Abstract Plain/Sir Rockaby by Frank Black

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