Paley & Francis Paley & Francis

Paley & Francis Paley & Francis
It's safe to say that the recent Pixies reunion hasn't killed off ol' Black Francis. Since rejoining his band in 2004, Charles Thompson has stepped up his production, reworking Pixies' songs, scoring '20s silent horror films and collaborating with Eric Drew Feldman, Steve Cropper and his wife. Paley & Francis finds Thompson keeping company with singer-songwriter Reid Paley, legendary producer/session man Jon Tiven and Muscle Shoals musicians David Hood and Spooner Oldham. Written over three days, with each song recorded in a single take, much of Paley & Francis comes off exactly like one would expect: caffeinated, troubadour-ish and ramshackle. With vocals and lyrics split between the titular artists, songs like the desert guitar-aided "Curse," Leonard Cohen-styled crooner "The Last Song" and organ-grinding death ballad "Happy Shoes" work purely off of invention and stipulation. Paley & Francis is an album, warts and all, born out of the pure love for musical collaboration. (Sonic Unyon)