Frank Black

Back Porch
Reviewed by: Andrew Gaerig
Reviewed on: 2005-08-04

Posted 08/04/2005 - 08:23:18 AM by florenz6:
 "Honeycomb" is a fine album. Good tunes, good cover versions. Good production. The class of simple and cool things! Grow up, buddy!
Posted 08/04/2005 - 09:59:44 AM by wmdavidson:
 Well.. at the risk of making an ass of myself by commenting on album I have't heard (my copy is still in the mail on its way to me), I'm going to have to side with florenz. I'm a big fan of Frank's work with both the Pixies and the Catholics, and guess what... the two bands are completely different. Different sound, different outlook, different goals. So different that the comparison between them is pretty much irrelevant. But here it is, yet again: another new FB record, another "it's not the Pixies" screed. It's been 15 years! Will you ever accept that he's a country-rock artist now, and judge him based on that? Either give this record a fair listen, or just go spin "Doolittle" again.
Posted 08/04/2005 - 10:03:50 AM by wmdavidson:
 Ah, that should be "commenting on AN album I HAVEN'T heard".
Posted 08/04/2005 - 02:36:06 PM by J_R_K_:
 I'm suprised a record with this many legendary Stax session musicians got such a low score. I haven't heard it yet, but I can't wait to check it out. This record existing makes a Pixies record all the more inevitable, in my estimation. Pixies fans listening to Frank Black albums is a little bit like Pavement fans listening to Silver Jews. It's a different ballgame, and these are records in which the artists are content to work within a traditional framework rather than push boundaries. This is maybe hard for a non-musician to understand. Try writing in an avant-garde highly stylized way for a long time, and then take a step back and focus on writing with a more traditional structure. Art doesn't always have to be abstract. And your Tom Petty comparision is ridiculous in the sense that I've played in bands with Pere Ubu fantatics and then been shocked to see a copy of "wildflowers" on their nightstand. People are complicated and like all types of music. Even "bland sentiments".
Posted 08/04/2005 - 02:54:59 PM by skuter666:
 “’s hard to accept the fact that under any other name this album would be marketed to, and enjoyed by, the Mellencamp/Hiatt/Petty crowd.” “But no one should be this interested in the negative space between James Taylor and The Eagles.” Oh, grow up. Your indie snobbery is showing, and this review occupies the negative space of a musical aesthetic defined by needless and artificial boundaries. Hey, yuh gotta keep ‘em separated, huh?
Posted 08/05/2005 - 01:48:17 AM by agaerig:
 I'm sorry you all disagree so strongly. To those of you who haven't heard the album: Please give it a listen. I don't dislike this record becuase it's a country record, nor because it's not a Pixies record. The record is simply ... boring. You'll find few bigger supporters of country than me, even the lame over-the-top stuff (how many Jay Farrar solo joints do you own?). I have copies of both Petty and Hiatt records. Call it indie snobbery if you'd like, but being just a regular old music fan doesn't preclude anyone from disliking a group. I find James Taylor and the Eagles monotonous, overly indulgent and very, very middle-of-the-road. And that would hold true if they were on Bloodshot records. Re: Nashville session musicians. Will Oldham recently tried a similar experiment and came up with similarly disappointing results. My Morning Jacket employed the Stax horn section on It Still Moves and that was a moderate success at best. I love the classic Nashville and Stax records as much as anyone, but merely being in the presence of greatness doesn't ensure it for yourself. Thanks for your comments, all.
Posted 08/05/2005 - 08:17:11 AM by florenz6:
 Dear Andrew! Okay, I understand, it´s boring - in your ears. There are some other ears, too, having different experiences. You know this is not someone coming from the country roots society; my favourite records 2005 are, f.e., Another Day On Earth (Brian Eno - pure magic, and so many boring critics repeating their prejudices) Lost and Found (The Books) and I´m A Bird now (Antony and the Johnsons). Of course, Frank Black´s album isn´t a killer album that changes your perspective on the world, but it brings (to me and some other people) so much fun listening - I was really surprised that such a traditionally rooted record could touch me so deeply!
Posted 08/05/2005 - 09:10:50 AM by wmdavidson:
 Andrew, you may indeed be correct that the record is boring and deserves a C minus, and there was a lot of good content in your review that supported that. But the review would have conveyed that point a lot more effectively if you hadn't kept returning to the "But it just isn't the Pixies" refrain. It just makes you look like a disgruntled Pixies fan who won't give anything else a chance, which judging by your follow-up comment is obviously not the case.
Posted 08/05/2005 - 02:54:41 PM by J_R_K_:
 Using the Wrecking Crew or Stax session musicians are not always going to equal a brilliant finished product, I agree. How much longer will that approach to making music be an option? Modern super-producers are rampant, making distracting bell & whistle laden tracks- a change of pace is nice. Loretta Lynn & Jack White maybe raised the awareness of this natual. I love talking out of my ass on the Internet, thanks for giving me this opportunity, and i hope you don't take my comments 4 real.