Black Francis Nonstoperotik

Poor Black Francis, or Frank Black, or Charles Thompson. It really doesn't matter what he calls himself, he will always be known as the singer from the Pixies, bringing with it all the obvious comparisons. And when it comes down to it, his solo work hasn't produced anything that could be regarded as the lost album the Pixies never made, although Nonstoperotik is a step in the right direction. He's painting with a louder palette than usual, with the guitars driving the proceedings along at a respectable pace. And as the title implies, his usual obsessions with the grubbier side of love are present, almost in a detrimental way. There are definitely a few songs that could have been written for the supposed new album the Pixies were going to record post-reunion, such as "Dead Man's Curve" and "Six Legged Man," and those are the ones that stand out. But just like every other solo record he's made, there's a lack of consistency, and that means there are a couple of low-key numbers that fall flat, like the drab title track, which is thankfully kept until close to the album's end. Still, this is closer to the record fans have wanted him to make than ever before. (Cooking Vinyl)