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Doolittle

Pixies

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Album Review

After 1988's brilliant but abrasive Surfer Rosa, the Pixies' sound couldn't get much more extreme. Their Elektra debut, Doolittle, reins in the noise in favor of pop songcraft and accessibility. Producer Gil Norton's sonic sheen adds some polish, but Black Francis' tighter songwriting focuses the group's attack. Doolittle's most ferocious moments, like "Dead," a visceral retelling of David and Bathsheba's affair — are more stylized than the group's past outbursts. Meanwhile, their poppy side surfaces on the irresistible single "Here Comes Your Man" and the sweetly surreal love song "La La Love You." The Pixies' arty, noisy weirdness mix with just enough hooks to produce gleefully demented singles like "Debaser," — inspired by Bunuel's classic surrealist short Un Chien Andalou — and "Wave of Mutilation," their surfy ode to driving a car into the sea. Though Doolittle's sound is cleaner and smoother than the Pixies' earlier albums, there are still plenty of weird, abrasive vignettes: the blankly psychotic "There Goes My Gun," "Crackity Jones," a song about a crazy roommate Francis had in Puerto Rico, and the nihilistic finale "Gouge Away." Meanwhile, "Tame," and "I Bleed" continue the Pixies' penchant for cryptic kink. But the album doesn't just refine the Pixies' sound; they also expand their range on the brooding, wannabe spaghetti western theme "Silver" and the strangely theatrical "Mr. Grieves." "Hey" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven," on the other hand, stretch Francis' lyrical horizons: "Monkey"'s elliptical environmentalism and "Hey"'s twisted longing are the Pixies' versions of message songs and romantic ballads. Their most accessible album, Doolittle's wide-ranging moods and sounds make it one of their most eclectic and ambitious. A fun, freaky alternative to most other late-'80s college rock, it's easy to see why the album made the Pixies into underground rock stars.

Customer Reviews

My Monkey Went to Heaven

In mid 1989 my wife miscarried our first child. Desolate, I came home alone from the hospital and in automatic mode absentmindedly turned on the TV. A band was playing a song called Monkey Gone To Heaven and I was introduced to the painful world of the Pixies. Part of me still lives there.

Here comes your man (and he's got an amazing album with him!!)

It's very rare for a band to produce such an amazing debut, in this case Surfer Rosa, and follow it up with such a superb effort as Doolittle. Every song is a Punk-Pop masterpiece in its own right. See where Nirvana ripped off the "loudQUIETloudQUIET" technique on tracks like Tame.

5 stars is not enough for this album

How come there aren't hundreds of reviews of this album. This truely is a classic from start to finish. Ask for your money back if you disagree. Refreshing now from the first chord to the last strike of a note as it was when I bought it on vinyl on it's day of release. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. It'll be the best £8 you spend on iTunes I promise!

Biography

Formed: 1986 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining jagged, roaring guitars and stop-start dynamics with melodic pop hooks, intertwining male-female harmonies, and evocative, cryptic lyrics, the Pixies were one of the most influential American alternative rock bands of the late '80s. They weren't accomplished musicians — Black Francis wailed and bashed out chords while Joey Santiago's lead guitar squealed out spirals of noise. But the bandmembers were inventive, rabid rock fans who turned conventions inside out, melding punk and indie...
Full bio