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Fucking in the Streets

Doolittle Is the Best Pixies Album

Every Pixies album is awesome, and a case could be made for any one of them being the band's best, but I still say—and this is objectively and with legally binding authority—Doolittle is their greatest. Doolittle captures the band at a creative peak and a career crossroads—and it's packed with perfect punk-pop rock songs (plus, lamentably, "Silver"). The band is performing the album in its entirety, along with contemporaneous B-sides and rarities, at two concerts at the Paramount this week, on November 12 and 13. In honor of the momentous occasion, a quick run through the best Pixies album ever.

1. "Debaser": You can't start an album much better than with those 16 bass notes, that searing, circling guitar chord, and that annunciatory drum fill—and of course the whole song unfolds into something amazing, Frank Black howling mad (about Luis Buñuel, etc.), Kim Deal heavenly and weightless, rhythm relentless and upbeat, guitar hook simple and irresistible.

2. "Tame": Lots to love here—guitars flayed out over an anxiously groovy bass line—but best of all is Black's ragged breathing of the verses and on the bridge, so uncomfortably close and predatory that you can practically feel the hot, wet panting on the back of your neck.

3. "Wave of Mutilation": Morbid surf rock at its big, wide-screen best.

4. "I Bleed": Epic, endlessly climbing song, Deal's background vocals echoing Black's to chilling effect, lyrics typically gothic and surreal.

5. "Here Comes Your Man": The lyrics are something about hopping boxcars, but the sentiment and the song's gushing titular refrain sound like pure romantic love.

6. "Dead": Joey Santiago's barbed-wire guitar just shreds Black rightly to death here, making that first wide-eyed chorus sound even stranger.

7. "Monkey Gone to Heaven": Ecological apocalyptica, God and the devil, a string section—all saved from being a pompous mess by almost-rapped, sinisterly singsong verses, Deal's serene delivery of the verse, and a guitar solo every bit deserving of the corny, indelible ad-lib "rock me, Joe."

8. "Mr. Grieves": A drowned man's sea chantey (as circle pit) long before zombie pirates were fashionable, with a lullaby chorus and a burlesque coda.

9. "Crackity Jones": A wild tear of a punk-rock song, in which Black transforms into a demon Chihuahua. Yip, yip.

10. "La La Love You": Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. David Lovering, an actual magician.

11. "No. 13 Baby": Great breakbeat, guitars splayed wide, Black whining lustily, song rolling out for its entire second half on one steady jam with plenty of space for Santiago's squealing guitar figures.

12. "There Goes My Gun": Yo ho, a sad punk's life for me. An absolutely elevating chorus. Here comes your man, there goes his gun—sly.

13. "Hey": Speaking of, Black may be a bit of a freak—all these Old Testament whores and chains and whatnot—but damn if this song doesn't make you want to meet him, biblically.

14. "Silver": Hey, nobody's perfect.

15. "Gouge Away": A restless, roiling closer, all locked-in groove, guitars ringing like a migraine aura, Black screaming exhausted, Deal subliminally humming—a climactic washing out. recommended

 

Comments (4) RSS

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1
um, talk about a spoiler alert...jeez
Posted by gnashgnash on November 13, 2009 at 12:07 AM · Report this
2
here comes your man is about a drug deal. jesus.
Posted by taint on November 14, 2009 at 9:55 AM · Report this
3
Surfer Fucking Rosa Dude.
Posted by goldeneel on November 15, 2009 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Eric F 4
Surfer Rosa times two. Facts: Bone Machine, Gigantic, River Euphrates, and Where Is My Mind? are all better than any song on Doolittle. And Black Francis never wrote a line better than "I was talking to Peachy-Peach about kissy kiss." Also, most Pixies records are bad.

A debate: why do most music writers believe, incorrectly, that Doolittle is the best Pixies record (Surfer Rosa), that Daydream Nation is the best Sonic Youth record (Sister), and that Loveless is the best My Bloody Valentine record (Isn't Anything)? Always one record too late.
Posted by Eric F on November 19, 2009 at 2:18 PM · Report this

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