10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Written in three afternoons and recorded in two, Paley and Francis pairs Brooklyn rocker Reid Paley with The Pixies’ Black Francis (aka Frank Black) for an off-the-cuff, loose, and wiry collection of tunes. With a backing group that includes Muscle Shoals legends Spooner Oldham on piano and David Hood on bass, the songs are in firm hands that never draw attention to their mastery. “Ugly Life” is a highlight by Paley; he takes a dour Lou Reed approach to the celebration of life’s less-than-sunny side. “Crescent Moon” features tortured electric guitars and a sweet, falsetto melody given the rawest of productions. “Curse” pumps with the tough love and pop of the best Pixies work. Neither performer is a conventional singer, but both get more mileage than a more refined talent might. Oldham brings out the down-and-out beauty of “On the Corner,” while “The Last Song” is another lurching tune that sounds like the duo almost didn’t make it home from the bar.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Written in three afternoons and recorded in two, Paley and Francis pairs Brooklyn rocker Reid Paley with The Pixies’ Black Francis (aka Frank Black) for an off-the-cuff, loose, and wiry collection of tunes. With a backing group that includes Muscle Shoals legends Spooner Oldham on piano and David Hood on bass, the songs are in firm hands that never draw attention to their mastery. “Ugly Life” is a highlight by Paley; he takes a dour Lou Reed approach to the celebration of life’s less-than-sunny side. “Crescent Moon” features tortured electric guitars and a sweet, falsetto melody given the rawest of productions. “Curse” pumps with the tough love and pop of the best Pixies work. Neither performer is a conventional singer, but both get more mileage than a more refined talent might. Oldham brings out the down-and-out beauty of “On the Corner,” while “The Last Song” is another lurching tune that sounds like the duo almost didn’t make it home from the bar.

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