Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Frank Black [extended]

  • Frank Black [Elektra, 1993] *
  • Teenager of the Year [4AD/Elektra, 1994] Neither
  • The Cult of Ray [American, 1996] Neither
  • Devil's Workshop [SpinArt, 2002] ***
  • Black Letter Days [SpinArt, 2002] Choice Cuts
  • Show Me Your Tears [SpinArt, 2003] **

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Frank Black [Elektra, 1993]
the silliest Pixie ("Fu Manchu," "I Heard Ramona Sing") *

Teenager of the Year [4AD/Elektra, 1994] Neither

The Cult of Ray [American, 1996] Neither

Frank Black and the Catholics: Devil's Workshop [SpinArt, 2002]
makes writing short catchy postpunk songs seem so easy--maybe too easy, considering how hard the longer ones come ("Velvety," "Whiskey in Your Shoes") ***

Frank Black and the Catholics: Black Letter Days [SpinArt, 2002]
"The Black Rider," "1826" Choice Cuts

Frank Black and the Catholics: Show Me Your Tears [SpinArt, 2003]
You show me yours and I'll show you mine ("Horrible Day," "Everything Is New"). **

Further Notes:

Subjects for Further Research [1990s]: As the face of the Pixies, the former Black Francis was dandyishly to devilishly arch, epitomizing what people who can't stand "college rock" can't stand about college rock. So though the Pixies had more slash and burn than any art band between Hüsker Dü and Nirvana, Fran sorely needed the fierce musicianship of Joey Santiago and, I like to think, the sweet humanizing gravity of Kim Deal. On his own he's generated plenty of tune, plenty of 'tude, yet seemed silly anyway. If you were to start with 1998's Frank Black and the Catholics you might think better of him. The pseudo-Pixies comp lurking in his catalogue includes Frank Black's "Fu Manchu" and Pistolero's "So. Bay."