Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Pixies' "Levitate Me" - the Metamorphosis

Just when you thought you had an idea of what to expect next from Charles Thompson, aka Frank Black, aka Black Francis, aka Frank Black Francis, and just when you suspected he was creatively spent when you heard he was recycling some of the classic Pixies tunes for his personal profit, he surprises you with the strange, schizophrenic Frank Black Francis Treated Disc 2. The disc does more than bring new life to the old classics. Thompson makes you wonder whether the new versions are the Platonic ideals of the originals. Are these new tracks what our memorized, beloved songs were meant to sound like all along? To me, Black Francis of the Pixies howled out dark songs as a madman would, in a swirl of screaming guitars, in both the original Come On Pilgrim version and the Live in Spokane (2004) Pixies version. Frank Black of 2004 seems to have actually crossed the jagged line that separates sanity from insanity, and when you hear him sing "won't you please run over me" with creepy echoes, eerie guitar feedback and big-band horns, it sounds like he means it.

Levitate Me, from:
Come On Pilgrim (1987)
Pixies, Live in Spokane, WA (2004)
Frank Black Francis, Treated Disc 2 (2004)

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