Ok this here is the Pixies last official studio album called Trompe Le Monde. Goddamn french name but it's still a better album then 9 out of 10 rock bands could make in a lifetime.
The album has the sound
of Doolittle and Bossanova put together, keeping the production qualities of Bossa but bringing back the sheer volume and abrasive edge the band is known for.
The record gets off to a quick start that is 100% Pixies. The title cut, Planet Of Sound, and Alec Eiffel are a strong trio to kick things off as Trompe recalls Bossanova Pixies with lush harmonies and huge drums, while Planet Of Sound is a classic Pixies rage with some really spaced out guitar work by Joey Santiago.
But from here on things turn inconsistent at best. Which isn't a bad thing as the hiccups aren't horrible, just readily apparent. The Pixes were always a consistent outfit, so when tracks such as The Sad Punk with its self conscious thrashing show up in the middle of things, you take notice. Surrounded by wonderful tunes such as the aforementioned three, the lovely, lilting Palace Of The Brine, outstanding and energetic cover of TJAMC's Head On, and the sonic and melodic Letter To Memphis, and Punk
throws a stick in the spokes early, making you notice the things this album lacks.
It lacks Kim Deal for one. Fat boy Black Francis and bassist Kim couldn't see eye to eye in those days so fatty cut her out of the Pixies deal, pardon the pun. Nowhere does she contribute a song and her lovely vocals are also very limited. This was fine for Bossanova, but for Trompe her input was needed to keep tubby from giving us crap like The Sad Punk, The Navajo Know, and the worst god awful Pixies song ever, Space (I Believe In). Although only three songs these things just make you go 'wtf' and you wonder where the magic went. Wouldn't be so bad if the album didn't feature a few other ordinary cuts that may have been forgiven before, but now they are simply emphasized as the last half of the album is bogged down a little with serviceable but unremarkable tracks like the plodding Distance Equals Rate Times Two and near album closer Motorway To Roswell.
But luckily for us chumps their is still much to like. Bird Dream Of The Olympus Mons is a grand alt rock power ballad that rises and falls just so, U-Mass biting and vulgar musically and lyrically, and Subbacultcha a kick in the pants. So while the album feels like what it is (the last album by a great band) and lacks some contributions from one of its key members, its still better than your favorite bands best album by at least two fold.
Unless your favorite band happens to be the Pixies =]