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Dog in the Sand

4.4 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In theory, there was no reason why Frank Black, a.k.a. Black Francis, shouldn't have carried on making great records after he left the Pixies; after all, he wrote and sang almost all the songs. However, all truly great bands are more than the sum of their parts, and Black's solo career has served largely as a resounding confirmation of this truth. He has had his moments, but has never come close to the towering heights he scaled with his old band. Perhaps by way of grudgingly acknowledging this, Dog in the Sand finds Black re-enlisting Pixies' guitarist Joey Santiago. Santiago, a dazzlingly inventive and versatile player, has been bewilderingly quiet since leaving the Pixies, and seems keen to make up for it here, deploying his formidable range. His contribution to what is certainly Black's best solo album is crucial, from the frenetic power chords of "If It Takes All Night" to the subtle picking of "Robert Onion" to the exuberant solo of "Bullet." Now, if Black can only persuade Kim Deal and David Lowering to come out of retirement as well, he might really be onto something. --Andrew Mueller

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Blast Off
  2. I've Seen Your Picture
  3. St. Francis Dam Disaster
  4. Robert Onion
  5. Stupid Me
  6. Bullet
  7. The Swimmer
  8. Hermaphroditos
  9. I'll Be Blue
  10. Llano Del Rio
  11. If It Takes All Night
  12. Dog In The Sand


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 30, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: What Are Records
  • ASIN: B0000560GU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,331 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
First, about this album, DOG IN THE SAND:
After nothing short of worshiping FB's first 3 solo albums, I was kind of disappointed by the first 2 offerings from FB & the Catholics. The production was lower, the performances were done live but sloppily at times, the lack of instruments made the arrangements emptier, and while some of the songs were FB-signature compositional gems, a good bit of it seemed musically and lyrically uninspired (for Frank, I mean... not saying it still didn't blow away 99% of the mindless [stuff] out there). Well, this was the album that got me back into Mr. Black with both feet. This album is sort of laid back and definitely a bit country-western in its instrumentation (lots of acoustic guitar, plus slide, pedal steel, piano, and even banjo), but Frank just seemed to be oozing with unique musical and lyrical ideas again. Still recorded live to 2-track, but way more instruments, much better performances, and perhaps some of Frank's most crisp and dead-on singing to date. Not a dud song in the bunch really, and that is quite an improvement from Pistolero and the Catholics 1st album.
Second, about this version, the one with bonus tracks:
Why this version is always cheaper than the original album, I have no idea. It is identical to the original album-- same CD, same cover art, same track listing-- EXCEPT, you get 4 acoustic demos at the end (not listed on the back cover). You get to hear "Stupid Me," "If It Takes All Night," "Robert Onion," and "Blast Off" demos, and they aren't just [crummy] sound quality dud tracks. It's like a Frank Black solo unplugged session to close out the already awesome album for you, and it's terrific. Especially "Stupid Me" and "Robert Onion"-- his voice sounds as cool if not cooler on the demo versions compared to the regular versions. To sum up, you should get this album, and there is no excuse for not getting this enhanced version of it!
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By A Customer on February 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Try reading the liner notes before you write a review. That way, you won't credit Santiago for playing on tracks that he didn't. You'll also see that he only played on three songs. Joey's a fine player, but not as important as you seem to think. That's Dave Phillips playing "the frenetic power chords" on "If It Takes All Night" and Rich Gilbert with the "exuberant" solo on "Bullet". As for the "subtle picking" on "Robert Onion", that's Frank on accoustic and Dave Phillips on lead. Rich and Joey are playing the power chords.
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By A Customer on January 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Frank Black was a member of the Pixies. The Pixies were a great little group with a relatively simple sound. All of a sudden, in 1993, Black split the group up and began his solo career. My guess is that he was fed up with the simplicity of the Pixies' music, plus there were some personal complications with the rest of the band. He released two magnificent albums, Frank Black and Teenager of the Year. The latter was an especially extraordinary piece of work, with 22 highly original and brilliant songs. However, the critics didn't get it and TOTY didn't sell very well. So, after making The Cult of Ray in 1995, he decided to form a pure rock'n'roll band and record live to 2 track. Frank Black and the Catholics' first, self-titled album, was a rather half-baked effort. However, Pistolero (1999) was a step in the right direction. Now, on the 29th day of January 2001, Frank Black has finally returned with a masterpiece comparable to TOTY and FB. Dog in the Sand is a brilliant album, packed with weirdness and imagination. Eric Drew Feldman returns with his keyboard magic and the overall sound is more produced, although they still record live to 2 track. A must-have for all adversaries of Westlife.
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Format: Audio CD
Another fine album by Mr. Black and his Catholics. Casting aside talk of Mr. Black's musical history, this album is a fine fine achievement on its own (the framework by which any work of "art" must be considered, blah blah). The keyboards are back, though in a purer state than the Casio boops and beeps of Teenager. Organ, electric piano, and conventional piano are throughout. Also, there seems to be a subtle country (western?) influence here, though if you are not looking for it, it will pass by undetected. Prior reviews mention Dylan and the Stones. Throw in the Blues.
Minor, moody chords, quirky inventive progressions, make this intelligent rock with some truly great lyrics.
If you do not like this album at first, listen again. If you still do not like it, listen again. Repeat until you love it. It won't take long.
Truly, thanks once again to Frank Black and the Catholics.
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Format: Audio CD
this album is sooooooo good. go get it. as far as the secret to the album's success being the inclusion of joey santiago on 3 tracks....??!?!!! come on! the amazon reviewer here is kind of mixed up, methinks. probably the same one who wrote the review of the movie "Harvey" (!)...
in the words of frank, "I think you--had no clue..."
[if anyhting, the secret could be the extra efforts of eric drew feldman from the one and only magic band of yester-year... that and whoever's playing slide!!!!!]
anyhoo, frank is just criminally under-rated. go see him when he hits yr town, man...
"LLANO, LLANO, LLANO -- LLANO DEL RIO!!!!!!"
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