Hey if any of you out there are Frank Black fans you may want to check out his new album "Honeycomb"
I really like it.
here are a few reviews...
Album Mini-Review: (from rhapsody)
The Pixies frontman dives deep into roots-rock waters on Honeycomb, an album recorded down in the warm, musical atmosphere of Nashville. Recorded with legendary session men like Steve Cropper and Spooner Oldham, the album crackles and burns with old-time soul, especially on Dan Penn's "Dark End Of The Street."
- Jon Pruett
Friday July 15, 2005
Frank Black - Honeycomb
Just before the Pixies began their reunion tour in 2004, Frank Black holed up in Nashville, surrounded himself with legendary session musicians and recorded his first solo album for eight years. Guaranteed to confound those still wallowing in the glorious resurrection of the shrieking, screaming Black Francis, he's discovered a mellow maturity in Southern soul - and without losing his punk rock perversity or poetry.
Against a wash of guitars, simple harmonies and keyboards, his voice glides from bitter-sweet on Selkie Bride to shiver-inducing on Dark End of the Street, accompanied by songwriters Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. Other covers, including the unlikely Song of the Shrimp from Elvis Presley's 1962 film Girls! Girls! Girls!, melt against Black's own songs without disturbing the warm, timeless mood. Strange Goodbye, for instance, a duet sung with Black's ex-wife, Jean, is a poignant snapshot of marital breakdown. But he sums up his stunning new direction best on Lone Child when he sings: "I'm not full of your hate, I'm full of my grace."
Frank Black - Honeycomb
Frank Black in solo mode has returned with 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. Not present is the typical Frank Black holler.
The roster of band members featured on Honeycomb reads like a blues-funk-soul dream team. United are some formidable figures who bring together histories from Stax Records, Muscle Shoals and American Studios - to name just a few. Featured in this band is the highly-esteemed guitarist and songwriter, Steve Cropper. His credentials are numerous but notably he was a co-writer and band member with Otis Redding plus a founding member of Booker T & The MG’s. The producer of Honeycomb is Jon Tiven who himself has worked with Wilson Pickett, B.B. King and Robert Plant. Frank Black obviously relished this opportunity of a lifetime - he has even stated on record his total admiration of their collective talent.
The opening track of Honeycomb is Seikie Bride which suitably sets an easy-going pace for the start of this country-bound journey. It’s then followed by the first single, I Burn Today - which as per usual with Black’s crafting of love songs, it seemingly never fails to sparkle. There are also three interesting choices of cover versions, namely Dark End of The Street, Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day and Song Of The Shrimp (from the Elvis Presley film, Girls, Girls, Girls). The tempo of Honeycomb is picked up slightly when Strange Goodbye swings around. It features a duet with Frank Black’s ex-wife, for whom this particular tune was also penned. So, don’t be fooled by the rumours that it was Courtney Love - she could never sing with such a wholesome-sounding country twang.
The title track, Honeycomb, possesses subtle reminders of a signature Pixies tune but without the in-your-face volume and snarl. The lyrics comically highlight the big mama’s boy that resides deep inside Frank Black.
The old churchyard,
Is where I faded,
She watched me while,
I fell unaided,
And in my time,
When God's army came and got me
I could not find my honeycomb…
In his usually obtuse manner, religion still heavily peppers Black’s lyrics too. It is evident in tracks like Honeycomb as well as Go Find Your Saint and Sing For Joy. Personal standout numbers include My Life Is In Storage, an ultimate song for those in the process of moving (literally or metaphorically) and Violet with it’s lyric of Violet’s the chakra for me, Violet’s the flower for me….
In his first solo release since 1996, Frank Black is in laid-back country mode. He is accompanied by a sterling band and producer who bring with them notable blues and soul music credentials. The pace of this album is easy-does-it with occasional views of an “abstract plain” coming through. It’s a sunny collection of songs with Black’s typically unique lyrical stylings. Overall, Honeycomb makes for perfect country-driving music.