Pixies
Doolittle


4.5
superb

Review

by Old Uncle Al USER (86 Reviews)
June 19th, 2006 | 52 replies | 4,509 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist


6 of 8 thought this review was well written

Go Pixies is all that needs to be said.

Pixies were formed with an idea in mind; not to start a revolution. Not to begin a craze of alternative punk, and let alone not to make one of the greatest albums ever made. No, they just wanted to get out there and make a name for themselves as a band with a garage-rock heart. But at the time, there was little like Pixies around. Perhaps in 1988 you saw the obscene (at the time) cover of Surfer Rosa next to the new Depeche Mode or Madonna album. But, being un-exposed to the up-and-coming alternative craze that was hitting the underground, you just wanted to grease Like A Prayer and put on some leg-warmers, neon headbands and spandex and jump around, and essentially be part of the fashion craze that the late eighties had to offer.

Pixies' second full lenghth album, Doolittle, is more lika a revolution in a box. And while it isn't the most amazing thing you'll ever hear, it's basically your Joshua Tree of alternative music. Basically, it's just a damn fine album that has incredible melody and depth, but also a fair share of filler songs. Essentially, it's a human album. Almost perfect, and extremely enjoyable. Plus it didn't sound like anything at the time, so it spawned countless imitations throughout the nineties and even the 21st century. But let's face it, it's a damn good album.

The best songs are the singles, which is a somewhat rare thing in albums. Debaser, Here Comes your Man and Monkey Gone to Heaven are all equally brilliant and different, thank God. Debaser focuses on heavy and slower punk music, Here Comes your Man is more of a surf song and Monkey Gone to Heaven is a deeply emotional and dark gem that focuses on mortality. The best of three is definitely the heavily sarcastic social commentary of Monkey Got to Heaven that focuses on a variety of things to make it interesting and depressing. Cello, whisper-to-scream vocals and whimsy backing vocals during the chorus that drip with the metaphorical line of "This Monkey's Gone To Heaven". But overall, this song is a breathtaking piece of music that starts out with little more than four very gloomy chords and violas, which evolves into a passionate vocal performance that shifts between the three leading band-mates which is followed by little nugget-solos embodying just two notes but remains interesting throughout the song. Basically, this song is simple but amazing just for the sheer darkness of it. And hearing Black Francis scream "Then God is Seven!" is an amazing experience. Frankly, the other singles don't stand a chance. But Debaser comes close, which is somewhat in the same bloodline of Monkey. It's happier, there's no doubt, but the simplicity is ringed throughout the rumbling bass pattern and power chords. Black Frances gives a varied vocal performance, which switches between straight-forward singing to loud and obnoxious shouting.

Basically, the album has many songs on it. Fifteen, to be exact. What's amazing is that none of them sound the same. The safest way to catagorize songs is by aggressiveness, ranging from the little ditties that have both psychadelia and country in mind, as seen on the ballad-ish twang of Silver, to the loud and revolutionary tone of songs like Gouge Away and Wave of Mutilation, the latter being a direct influence on such nineties gems as Weezer and Nirvana, in which Kurt Cobain himself said that he was trying to rip off Pixies for Smells Like Teen Spirit. But the songs are almost un-influenced, or if not influenced by very select and unique bands. On Wave of Mutilation, the guys and gal take on a role of early The Velvet Underground and yet manage to hold they're place as a unique band. Gouge Away is basically a perfect album ender; jam-packed with all the sounds of the album and evenly balanced into a voluptuous sounding, distorted ballad that bids farewell to the album in such a great tone that it's hard to deny it as a perfect, of if not nearly perfect, song.

Even the filler songs are enjoyable. In case you were wondering, there aren't many, but it really doesn't make much of a difference. The filler songs are shorter ones, and are as varied as any other songs by Pixies. The triumphantly Tom Waits-ish of vibe is sent off Mr. Grieves, a slow and tortured song that gets happier as it gets along, but then plummets to the sound of a tortured drunk, oddly enough. It's a bar song, if you will. The fast, quick and basic punk tone of Crackity Jones is not only a fast and punk-reminiscent song, but features more suiting little screams than anybody had dared ventured into a decade earlier. It's over fast, but it's a keeper just for, once again, it's unique spot on the album. Emerging out of the dark is the mysterious cowboy-rumbly, dirty n' rough Hey which has incredible range, and shouldn't even be considered because it's basically the musical equivalent of Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde. The Dr. Jeckyl is the soft and collected chord-sequence bunch with the frankly astonishing vocal performance. It really is amazing. The Mr. Hyde part? The fast punk part that doesn't sound rehearsed at all. But the shifiting is what really makes this song fantastic.

Basically this album is what spawned a craze which flame is still burning today. Pixies are pretty much the main influences of such influential band that emerged during the nineties, and this album is a prime example of why. It's varied, sure, but it's sound is what crafted a generation of flannel shirts and all-stars, as well as the alternative junkies who would make a name for themselves in the nineties, spawning other imitations. But non can quite equal Pixies, and this album is a perfect representation of why these guys are influential. Every song is different and equally enjoyable, and it's not hard to call this a nearly flawless album. 'Nuff said.

Pixies - Doolittle
The Players:

Black Francis - Vocals, Guitar
Kim Deal - Bass, Vocals
Joey Santiago - Guitar
David Lovering - Drums



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user ratings (2110)
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4.5
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Two-Headed Boy
June 19th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not gonna brag, but fiftieth review.

Med57
Moderator
June 19th 2006



1001 Comments


Very good review man. I'm a huge Pixies fan, and this is a brilliant brilliant album. It's praised loads for its influence, but how good it is easily lives up to the hype.

The Jungler
June 19th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not sure this needed a new review, but this was freaking top notch work. This album is fantastic, No. 13 Baby is probably the worst song, the others are all classics of modern music. Once again, great work Mr. Christian, I liked your Jackyll/Hyde comment.

EDIT: Oh, and happy fiddyeth, I expect a cake for mine.This Message Edited On 06.19.06

tom79
June 19th 2006



3362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice job the on the 50th :chug:

I've only heard the odd song by Pixies, but want to here more. This sounds good.

Digging: Braid - No Coast

Zebra
Moderator
June 19th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great work on the review but I disagree with you on the filler tracks. Both Mr.Grieves and Crackity Jones are probably my favorites off of the album and I don't think they really sound like filler tracks.

metallicaman8
June 19th 2006



4677 Comments


Superb review, my man. Easily got my vote :thumb:. I would buy you a drink for the occasion, but well it's quite obvious I can't do that.

Two-Headed Boy
June 20th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Woah this is even less popular than my Matthew Good review :-/
Thanks for the feedback, good sirs.

francesfarmer
June 21st 2006



1477 Comments


"I Bleed" is an amazing, amazing song. I haven't heard much else off this album, though. Pretty good review.

Two-Headed Boy
June 23rd 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"La la Love You" is my current fave.

Foreskin Fondler
July 1st 2006



279 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The best songs are the singles, which is a somewhat rare thing in albums.

ummm.....have you ever purchased a pop or mainstream rap album.

Jawaharal
July 1st 2006



1832 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

God this album is just absolutely essential to a music fan's collection. I adore it so much.

Two-Headed Boy
July 2nd 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ummm.....have you ever purchased a pop or mainstream rap album.

no, cuz im troo 1nd1e

Pwntendo
September 16th 2006



70 Comments


[quote=cheeto]God this album is just absolutely essential to a music fan's collection. I adore it so much.[/quote]

THIS.

tom79
September 28th 2006



3362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey, Alex, I finally heard some and I must say, I like what I hear. I will probably get this sometime.

The Jungler
September 28th 2006



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I listened to this for the majority of the weekend, its one of those albums, along with OK Computer, that I don't think will ever decrease in quality for me. Classic.

pulseczar
September 28th 2006



2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is edging on a 5 now, but I'm not sure yet.

AnyColour74
September 28th 2006



1054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is no doubt a 4.5 if not a 5, because it has such strong songs like debaser, wave of mutilation and mokey gone to heaven.

Two-Headed Boy
January 9th 2007



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

There aren't really any filler songs anymore, listening to it a few more times.

Bron-Yr-Aur
May 25th 2007



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album. Gouge Away is awesome.

MrKite
August 7th 2007



5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

GOD IS 7!



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