Black Francis | Nonstoperotik (Cooking Vinyl)

 The gold mine for those who loved all there was about The Pixies.

Black Francis has endured multiple incarnations in his musical career, a fact well manifested on his new full-length release, Nonstoperotik. The evolution of his music stem from early influences of David Bowie and The Cars, the familiar sound put out by The Pixies, and his later solo work as Frank Black are exemplified in these 11 new tracks along with strains of the folk music his parents raised him on.

The first track “Lake of Sin” reintroduces us to Francis as it invokes both the flavor of early ’90s Pixies and his post ’93 breakup work with The Catholics. They combine into a delivery of the album title’s promise with a building, prowling rhythm laced with erotic imagery. The following selections “O My Tidy Sum” and “Rabbits” bring in a slow reminder of a late ’60s sound reminiscent of the folk rock that gave birth to many of Francis’ influences.

The standalone track on the album Wheels follows, which is a cover of country-rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers’ song originally released in 1969. It’s modernized by Francis and evinces a surprising Social Distortion-esque rockabilly motif.

The three consecutive following tracks are the gold mine for those who loved all there was about The Pixies. “Dead Man’s Curve” revives the essence of the old Pixies in its classic late ’80s alternative coolness and the taste of it continues through “Corrina” and into the energetic and driving guitar and bass of “Six Legged Man.”

Later in the album, the penultimate title track winds down the mood as the piano becomes the prevalent instrument and sparse lyrics more overtly paint a picture of sexual longing with “I want to be to be inside / that’s my intention / inside of you / all the way." A haunting opening riff that melds into minor chords returning the feel of the album back to The Pixies finishes off the track list with “Cinema Star.”

All told Nonstoperotik has elements of different stages in Francis’ musical life compiled to satisfy those who appreciate any of them. It is an example of how an album can symbolize a musician’s progress up to the point of its creation and all of the work that has gone into his evolution as an artist. A | Jason Neubauer

RIYL: The Pixies, Pavement, Interpol




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