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Whoops, sorry missed JaggerT. I remembered the review distinctly for some odd reason, then replied a little too quick.
Tramp was reviewed – got a 7.9.
Yeah, true. “Hallways” and the bonus track “Swallows” are classic catchy Islands, but a lot of the other songs are so downtrodden that it can wear on you if you are not in the mood.
Nothing too surprising there. Let’s talk about the albums we really liked that did not make any of these year end lists; I’m bored reading the same names. Here are a few of mine:
PS I Love You – Death Dreams (Pixies meet Japandroids – a slight step down from their debut, but worth it for “First Contact” alone)
Suckers – Candy Salad (“Figure It Out” is impossible to forget after one listen)
Islands – A Sleep & A Forgetting (Catchy as usual, just a bit more somber than typical Islands)
Listen, kiddo’s. I am a grouchy old man and un-hip as they come, but I have listened to the Pixies for nearly 20 years and I love every song that they ever recorded, including “Here Comes Your Man.” Hell, for years, that song was my wife’s ring-tone for me, so there’s even nostalgia tied in there.
But, “Here Comes Your Man” has no business being in the top 10. That is not to reject the popular song just for cool points. I have no cool points left in my life. I honestly have spent thousands of hours listening to the Pixies and at no point was “Here Comes Your Man” in my top 25 songs by them. It really is a song that belongs completely to the time it was recorded. It fit with the radio culture of 1989 (that bass line is bubblegum) and it makes sense that it got popular (“popular” in a certain sense of the word), but the greatness of the Pixies lies in their strange timelessness.
Anyway, for my ears, no band has ever approached their combination of strangeness, accessibility, and ability to rock. Their have been albums here there (‘Apologies to the Queen Mary” and “Meet Me at the Muster Station” come to mind) that had that Pixies-ish spark of excitement, but no band did it as well and for as long as they did.
Now, get off my lawn!
Wait, a second there. Is there a version of “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” that Kim sings? I’ve heard the BBC version, the Live version on the Complete “B” Sides, and I think I’ve watched a video or two of it, but I’ve never heard Kim sing it.
I love the sound on Bossanova; the reverb drenched guitar made it sound so spacey and dreamy. Plus, they did some great stuff with song-structures that they really had not done before. “The Happening” and “All Over the World” really veered down unexpected paths and got a little prog-rock-esque even.
I really don’t think that “Monkey Gone to Heaven” is a no-brainer to make the list, though. It’s a good song, but I would not consider it one of my top 20 favorites. That song and “Here Comes Your Man” are two songs that seem to belong more to that moment in time, whereas some of their other songs have a strange weirdness that is timeless.
The timelessness of some of their stuff reminds me of the qualities of Black Francis’s often-cited loved director, David Lynch. Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet also have that strange otherworldly quality that belong to no specific time-period, but have plenty of uncanny references to actual time periods that unsettle you.
I’m on the same page with you. It seems like Trompe Le Monde does not get the credit it deserves because of the reviews that basically said it was too much of a Black Francis / Frank Black solo project. That mind-set has stuck with the album over the last twenty years, which is crazy to me.
Motorway to Roswell is probably in my top 10 favorite songs of all-time, never mind a list restricted to just the Pixies.
“Levitate Me” from Pixies at the BBC is outstanding. I always thought that the live BBC version beat the album version.