Black Francis

Cooking Vinyl

He was born Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV, then went by Black Francis during his Pixies years, then the Pixies broke up and he became Frank Black, then the Pixies got back together and he became Black Francis once again.

Which brings us to his latest solo offering, Nonstoperotik—the album title does well in telling us it’s theme. “Dead Man’s Curve” is track number 5 with good electric guitar work and up-tempo drums. A biker years after being the one who didn’t drive off Dead Man’s Curve telling what has happened of him. He was a direct cause in a death in his younger years, and the guilt consumes him.

Towards the tail-end of the album is where things really get to be nonstoperotik. “When I Go Down On You” is a sex-is-healing, acoustic and piano song—something Black Francis, and Frank Black, has never shyed away from writing and singing about (editor’s note: would it be “has” or “have never shyed away”?).

The best song on the album is another acoustic offering. “Oh My Tidy Sum” features an additional looped electronic drum beat in the background that accompanies Francis’ strumming and infectious voice. Every time the chorus goes “Oh my tidy sum, oh my tidy sum, many miles away from my cherry plum,” I find myself singing along with it trying to imitate Francis’ sound. Combine that with his songwriting’s diverse and insightful points-of-view and that’s why Nonstoperotik has been getting played over and over by me recently.

Excuse the cheesy, obvious fan photo montage of Black Francis/Frank Black.