Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pixies - Bossanova

Popular music must have really changed in twenty years, because I've never found the Pixies to be as inaccessible as people seem to say they were. I know they were recording just before grunge and alternative rock in general really took off, but an album like Bossanova hardly seems out of the mainstream now to me. I mean, it's not exactly what you'd call standard rock, but I could easily see songs like "Velouria" or "Is She Weird" playing on the radio. The album definitely has less of a unique reputation than their earlier work, and while I don't like it as much as Doolittle there's definitely a lot to find. The funny thing is, while it may be more mainstream, it took me longer to get into. I like most of the songs now, but at first it only really seemed to get good somewhere in the second half.

The first two songs, one of which is a cover, feature very little vocals and mostly serve as an extended introduction to the band's general sound. Of the fourteen songs, some are pretty darn short, some are a bit longer, some more melodic and others a bit off-beat, most of them focusing on otherworldly themes and being driven by a nice mix of Black Francis' eccentric singing, Joey Santiago's guitar, and Kim Deal's bass and backing vocals. Really, the second track's title of "Rock Music" is pretty fitting. My favorite song is probably "The Happening", with a unique spacey chorus consisting of a single sound changing in pitch, and which overlays with a half-sung monologue in the last section, one of the band's best moments. To be honest I was more interested in getting Surfer Rosa but chose this instead so I'd finally have an album from the year 1990 since I'm kind of weird, but it ended up working out pretty well.

1 comment:

Evil Dead Junkie said...

This is The Pixies album that took me the longest to warm to but I find it rewarding now.

Saw Frank Black do an acoustic version of Velouria that made me love the song.