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Bluefinger

24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 11, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Pixies' iconic lead singer Frank Black dons his decades-old moniker - Black Francis - and, imbued by the spirit of eccentric Dutch painter/musician Herman Brood, recorded a brand new set of 11 songs, collectively titled Bluefinger. Black Francis recorded Bluefinger in September 2006 in Portland, OR. Appearing on guitars, harmonica and vocals, Francis was joined in the studio by drummer Jason Carter (Guards of Metropolis), Violet Clarke on vocals, and bassist Dan Schmid (The Visible Men). Mark Lemhouse produced the album. Bluefinger showcases a Herman Brood cover, You Can't Break a Heart and Have It, and ten Black Francis originals: Captain Pasty, Test Pilot Blues, Lolita, Tight Black Rubber, Angels Come to Comfort You, Your Mouth Into Mine, Discotheque 36, She Took All the Money, Blue Finger, and Threshold Apprehension.

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Musicians gain songwriting stimulus from broken relationships, bad intentions, and pop culture, but leave it to Black Francis (a.k.a. Frank Black) to find inspiration in the works of the late Dutch painter Herman Brood, who was also recognized as a musician fronting His Wild Romance. The Pixies' alter ego alludes to Brood either candidly or implicitly in all 11 songs, veering far from the Nashville-and-Memphis tones of the last two Black albums for a return trip to his raucous roots on loose-knit tracks like "Lolita" and "Tight Black Rubber" or the rapturous "She Took All the Money," a duet with Violet Clarke. "Captain Pasty" brings a perfunctory reminder of how Black's style once aroused a young Kurt Cobain, its chugging bass melodies and burning bark remindful of Nirvana's Incesticide, while "Angels Come to Comfort You" chugs along like a country ode, referencing the Hilton hotel where Brood died in 2001 and calling him "prettier than Brando" and "punker than punk." He even takes to covering Brood’s "You Can't Break a Heart and Have It," its lashing rhythm section and call-and-response vocals a dead ringer for the Bowery circa 1977--and Black Francis and band about 14 years later. --Scott Holter

1. Captain Pasty
2. Thresehold Apprehension
3. Test Pilot Blues
4. Lolita
5. Tight Black Rubber
6. Angels Come To Comfort You
7. Your Mouth Into Mine
8. Descoteque 36
9. You Can't Break a Heart And Have It
10. She Took All the Money
11. Bluefinger

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B000OYC1RC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,976 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By ATeacherFromFlorida on September 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Many critics have already heralded this record as a return to the Pixies signature sound. This is not true. Bluefinger bears very little resemblance to any of the Pixies work. Some yelping and corroded chugging guitars does not a Pixies album make. Period.

With that out the way, Bluefinger is a great, fun, and rewarding record---Frank's best in years, by far. He's sounding rejuvenated, but most importantly, he sounds like he's having a blast.

Bluefinger clocks in at just under 40 minutes and there's not a dud in the bunch. Even the slowburners such as the title track are rewarding after repeated listens. Lyrically, the material is playful and cryptic, full of alternatingly direct and oblique references to dutch rock and roll artist Herman Brood.

Standout cuts for me are the more raucous numbers like Tight Black Rubber, Threshold Apprehension, You Can't Break a Heart and Have It, and Captain Pasty. The slower songs such as Lolita and She Took the Money are just as strong, however, stamped with Black's trademark quirky structures and time signatures.

Who needs the Pixies if Black Francis is back and he's going to be making albums this good?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brandon J. Smith VINE VOICE on September 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, someone had his coffee this morning ... That was my first thought when Black Francis's new cd started playing. And that energy is the difference that makes this album worthwhile.

After years of being a huge Pixies fan, followed by years of Frank Black fandom (in truth, I prefer "Teenager of the Year" to any of the Pixies albums, though "Doolittle" is a very close second for me), I had actually given up on the many-named musician. "Fast Man Raider Man" was a debacle of such proportions that I thought it would spell the end of Mr. Charles Thompson.

In a blatant bid to recapture some of the old Pixies magic, Thompson has reclaimed not only his old pseudonym but much of his former band's sound. The good news is: it works. This is surely his strongest album since "Show Me Your Tears," and probably his best since "Dog in the Sand." Pixies fans will undoubtedly prefer this cd to either of those albums, though. There are hints of the western sound Thompson has toyed with (mostly unsuccessfully) in recent years, but most of the cues taken here are from the Pixies via the Stones. It's hardly an instant classic, and one can't help but wonder what the album would have been like had this been a full-blown Pixies effort, but for an artist with this much talent and potential, it's great just to have him back, working in the form he's most suited to.

There's room for growth here, but one thing's for sure: We've got Black Francis back. Hopefully the muse will continue to lead him in this direction in the future.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark L on October 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Thought for sure we lost him... If Honeycomb or Raider Man introduced you to (or opened your mind to) his solo material...then I'm glad...and welcome aboard! However, in my opinion...he nearly jumped the shark with those releases. Much of the material on the last two albums just sounded sterile to me. Maybe being in an 'important studio' with 'important musicians' made him think too much?

Now on to this jewel...This release seems like a natural progression of his solo work sprinkled with some Pixies reunion experience. Some of this material could probably have fit nicely on a new Pixies album...however, much of it is simply what would have happened without the reunion...definitely a strong and 100% organic follow up to Show Me Your Tears.

Look, Those of you waiting for the next Doolittle, forget it...he's moved on...and so should we. Do I wish it were Kim Deal doing the female backing vocals on this album? Kinda... Like I sometimes wish I still had a full head of hair...apparently, neither one of those things are happening.

Do yourself a favor, forget what could have been or should have been and just enjoy his work...He's back and he's spectacular!

P.S. Of course, as with all great Frank Black albums...it will likely take a bit of time to grow on you...but once it does...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William P. Holmes on September 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Frank Black form his begining days with the Pixies. His first three solo outings still smacked of his previous band, but a bit looser. After that, he took a different turn........a good turn, but different.....exploring more stripped down recording and even a couple of great releases with a Nashville twist. Blue Finger is a return, not to the first three solo releases, but to the Pixies days. Francis is in great form throughout this release.........his screams in You Can't Break a Heart and Have It, alone are worth the price of this release. If you are a fan of Frank Black (Black Francis) you probably already have Blue Finger. If you are a fan of early Frank Black or any of the Pixies releases, you will love this. Frank's wife dose a great job backing him up on a couple of tracks........very different from Kim Deal, but her voice suites the songs perfectly.
It will be interesting to see the direction that Frank Black or Black Francis takes on his next release......he can always be counted on to entertain....no matter what name he uses.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Meshanko on November 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I was in Los Angeles for work in mid-October and much to my surprise I found out that Black Francis was playing in Hollywood for 2 nights (Monday 10/15/07 and Tuesday 10/16/07). I went to the Tuesday show, not knowing what to expect. I am relatively new to the Pixies and Frank Black but this live performance made me a fan for life. Most of the show was the from the new Bluefinger album and I enjoyed ever minute of it even though this was the first time that I heard this material. Usually, I am not a big fan of brand new material at live shows but this was an exception. Threshold Apprehension, Tight Black Rubber and She Took All the Money are my personal favorites. I was so into music that I did not realize that wild man Jack Black (not related ha ha ha) was wondering around in the audience. PJ Harvey was also there that night. Get Bluefinger - best album of 2007. By the way, I think that iTunes has a bonus song at the end of this album that I haven't checked out yet.
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