Black Francis Bluefinger

It took time but the Pixies reunion tours he initiated have finally rubbed off on Frank Black, or, as he is known once more, Black Francis. A tribute to late Dutch musician/visual artist Herman Brood, Bluefinger kicks ass. Though it sounds dry and unadorned, the album reflects Francis’s renewed interest in the punk-infused pop of his famously influential band. Just as Brood’s unfortunate 2001 suicide prompted Francis to make this record, perhaps Brood’s notorious zest for drugs and sex further inspired Francis to lively up himself. Storming forward like Shellac, Francis’s band tear through the infectious "Captain Pasty,” while the off-kilter "Threshold Apprehension” is a cool collage of voices, including a not-unlike-Kim Deal contribution from Violet Clark. While the tragic end of Brood is recounted in the surprisingly jaunty "Angels Come to Comfort You,” a song written by the subject himself, "You Can’t Break a Heart and Have It,” brings out all the fury in Black Francis. (Cooking Vinyl)