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For those who already enjoy Black's former albums -particularly with the Catholics- this may be a reason to rejoice. Although, to my taste, it may not reach the emotional depths of Dog In The Sand, Honeycomb is a pretty solid album.
The story goes that, on the eve of his first Pixies tour in years, he retreated to Memphis with a bunch of songs he's been wanting to record -most of which are his own compositions- and with the glorious aid of some session-playing legends, proceeded to lay down these tracks.
Speaking of "the band," since these people have a lot to do with the quality of this album, the work of Steve Cropper on guitar, Spooner Oldham on keyboards and Anton Fig on drums, definitely stand out. In addition to them, Buddy Miller's presence must be mantioned although the lack of specific reference makes me unable to say for sure what tunes he's on.
Now on to the songs, there are several great ones here. Specifically: "Selkie Bride" with its great chorus supported by Ellis Hooks' vocals and some of the most honest lines I've heard, in an after-the-breakup song -"if you return again / I'll be the saddest man / my lip will burn your skin / if you return again / please don't return again"- which are likely to stay in your mind for a while.Read more ›
Honeycomb will astound many fans with it's smooth precision. All the performances are spot on, the sound is elegant and cool, and it combines these fantastic musicians of the past several decades with Frank Black's modern creativity. I'm ten listens in and it's getting better and sweeter every time. Buy it now and start your own learning curve. You won't regret it!!
But I was scared when I saw Tiven's name down as producer. I almost put it back on the shelf. Generally, he makes tepid, unabashedly awkwardly retro R&B records in which he imposes his mediocre songwriting and narrow concept of soul all over the proceedings. I've never liked any of his records, except for the Yankees record, which was more of a punk/new-wave thing. I'm happy to say he's strictly hands-off here, allowing Frank and the band (with input from Dan Penn that borders on co-production) to lay back and cut loose.
And it is a surprisingly laid-back record. This is not the high-strung Frank of old. But the grooves suit him well. His songwriting sounds equally off-kilter and startling -- maybe more so -- with this more conventional backdrop. The supporting crew do what they do best, begging the question why don't they do it more often! Penn's touch as adviser and engineer is tangible and brilliant. Frank even gets away with singing "Dark End of the Street" with soul and an endearingly clumsy honesty.
Of the original tunes, "Go Find Your Saint" and "Honey Comb" warrent extended replays. But the whole thing has such a seductive, warm groove to it, it'll lull you into its lair and, just as your taking your shoes of, stick a lyrical barb into your back. Very freakin' cool.
I must admit i never got into the Frank Black and the Catholics stuff, so after listening to the same pixies songs regurgitated and revised over and over again since surfer rosa came out, this is refreshing. I didnt hear him scream once on this record. Kind of like Beck, hard or soft its good good stuff. It sounds like he has traded in alcohol for xanax, just like a lot of us have.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can't imagine life without this album. Utterly beautiful. By the time Violet and Sing for Joy come on there are no words... Read morePublished 22 months ago by D. MATRANGA
I certainly recognize Frank Black's vocal stylings and solid musicianship on Honeycomb, but there is none of the edgy lyrics or composition that I've come to love and expect from... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Tim Gee
terrific songs, musicianship, and singing. Country with a little more edge. You forget what a gift for melody Frank Black has.
Has not left my player in days...
Having been a fan of the pixies and a lover of Teenager of the year and the self titled release I must say, I did not like this album during my first listen. Read morePublished on February 11, 2009 by kitten louise
Oh boy... couldn't agree more with the reviewer that said that he didn't care about the backing musicians or producer..... Read morePublished on August 25, 2008 by O'Grady Brian
I've never listened to the Pixies or Frank Black before stumbling across this album. I think it's great. Read morePublished on March 1, 2007 by Joseph
In 2003 Charles Kitteridge Thompson IV's Show Me Your Tears album was a terrific little release, beflecked with country odes to marital woes and some of the best songs of the... Read morePublished on March 21, 2006 by The Wasp
Like pretty much all other output from this man, Honeycomb is heartfelt and true. It does readers a tremendous disservice to ever refer to his music as "country. Read morePublished on February 7, 2006 by Minnesota Domino