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Audio CD, July 19, 2005
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Product Description

Frank Black returns the release of Honeycomb, his first solo effort since 1996's The Cult of Ray. This heavily country-soaked album was recorded in just four days in Nashville with an impressive backing band. Additionally, it was also days before Frank Black's commencement of the hugely anticipated Pixies reunion shows of 2004. The mood of this release is relaxed, even mellow at times. Still present though is Black's quirky lyrics but with a more contemplative air. Back Porch. 2005.

Those having witnessed Frank Black exorcising his demons through screams and wails onstage with the Pixies will stop for a double-take when they hear this, an album the frontman recorded live in Nashville just days before the band launched its 2004 reunion tour. He sounds like George Jones with a hangover. Stripping away the ear-splitting feedback and lyrics about spaceships, Black teams up with a group of dust-caked local musicians, whose collective resumes include stints at Stax Records, Muscle Shoals and American Studios, for a set of songs that are beautiful and warm--even when on "Another Velvet Nightmare," he mournfully sings, "Today I felt my heart slide in my belly/ So I puked it up with liquor." --Aidin Vaziri

1. Selkie Bride
2. I Burn Today
3. Lone Child
4. Another Velvet Nightmare
5. Dark End Of The Street
6. Go Find Your Saint
7. Song Of The Shrimp
8. Strange Goodbye
9. Sunny Sunday Mill Valley Groove Day
10. Honeycomb
11. My Life Is In Storage
12. Atom In My Heart
13. Violet
14. Sing For Joy

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 19, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Back Porch
  • ASIN: B0009VBU4A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,786 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on August 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Certainly, any fan of the Pixies unfamiliar with Black's solo output may cry out at the apparent sacrilege this album is, yet in further examination anyone would appreciate that Honeycomb is both a sign of musical maturity and, ultimately, -I''m going out on a limb- a quiet, Country-like form of the Pixies' angst-ridden message. I know some will frown at this, so I don't ask to believe me but give this idea a chance.

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.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Spiral Stair on July 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Some musicians have a magical touch, and Frank Black has put his brilliant touch on everything he has played. From influencing Kurt Cobain of Nirvana while Frank led the Pixies to his incredibly creative solo and Catholics albums, Black has mastered reinventing himself at every turn. Many fans hear a new album and immediately wish for the same sound as the preceding one. But wait just a minute. Spin that thing again and some of the grooves and nuances start to sink in a little. Spin it once more and you find yourself catching the unique chord progression that somehow no-one has ever used in this way before. Pretty soon, you are stuck on this cd and can't shake loose of it, even when it's not playing. That's the thing with his music: it is built for the long haul.

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!!
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Format: Audio CD
I was excited about this one. Something about the unexpected collaboration of Frank Black and this amazing cast of Memphis/Muscle Shoals session cats (Roger Hawkins, Dan Penn, David Hood, Spooner Oldham, Steve Cropper, etc) just sounded intriguing. And I'm not really a big Pixies/Black fan.

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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Corey on July 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This album is slick. The whole thing, lyrics and music are cool. I think he spent a month in Omaha writing in a hotel, that town can mellow anyone out. Just check the samples to see what you think. If you find yourself listening to less Dinosaur Jr. these days and more Wilco, then get this one as well. Its the first pixies/black album that my mother would enjoy, so it is Frank Black for the whole family.

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.
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