Trompe Le Monde

This is an awesome album! The sound may seem slightly ‘murky’ in places, but that’s all that really prevents this acheiving the same perfect grade ‘Doolittle’ achieved. There were tensions within the group, Charles ( Black Francis ) worked in the studio with producer Gil Norton around the clock, worked harder on this album than he had any other, to ensure it’s quality in the face of estrangement between Kim and himself and the lack of a unified band firing on all cylinders. So, lots of guitar!! Lots of aggression, particularly through second song and all time Pixies classic ‘Planet Of Sound’. Got to love Joeys guitar through the middle especially. And then Black Francis screams for all he’s worth as the song closes with a thud. ‘Alec Eiffel’ arrives next with the by now classic Pixies strummed duel guitar sound of Charles and Joey together. The melody throughout the song is strong, the ending sequence of the song which works in former Captain Beefheart man Eric Drew Feldman’s keyboard parts is truly beautiful, so much so, it makes me cry more often than not. ‘Sad Punk’ is another piece of aggression switching to beautiful mellow vocals and guitars to close. ‘Head On’ is a cover of a Jesus And The Mary Chain song. It’s been performed here perfectly well, but lacks the character of The Pixies own songs. The screaming returns for ‘U-Mass’ which is an entertainingly dumb sounding ROCK AND ROLL SONG!! Good grief, why the hell did The Pixies never break through REALLY BIG!!! Two short but beautiful guitar songs close the first half of the album, both songs featuring great vocal performances.

‘Bird Dream Of Olympus Mons’ is a piece of genius, a trip into space with a tear in the eye, admiring the landscape and mountains on the moon. A love song, of sorts. ‘Space’ has guitars absolutely everywhere, heavy as hell. ‘SubbaCultcha’ all sorts of weird lyrics amid a heavy grinding guitar rhythm. Yeah, it’s good, and you can also hear Kim on backing vocals. ‘Distance Equals Rate Times Time’ isn’t any kind of song I suppose, but The Pixies just had such a great sound it could transform almost anything by this stage. ‘Lovely Day’ works here on ‘Trompe Le Monde’ in a similar fashion for me to ‘Stormy Weather’ from ‘Bossanova’. This is the sunny counterpart to ‘Stormy Weather’! ‘The Navajo Know’ is a strange thing, weird sounds abound and a rhythm that almost sounds like a slowed down Ska group. It works totally on the album, because it follows the emotionally exhausting and utterly beautiful ‘Motorway To Rosswell’ with it’s evocative musical and lyrical content. Of course, we wanted more. We all wanted more music from The Pixies ( well, I did! ) but leaving the way they did? They never made a bad record. They never descended into following fashions and ‘Trompe Le Monde’ is as fine a way to close a career as could be imagined.

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