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Teenager Of The Year

Frank Black

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Album Review

A sprawling double album, Frank Black's Teenager of the Year builds on the clever, carefully crafted pop he forged on his solo debut and moves even farther away from the Pixies' sound. It feels like the album Black wanted to make since Bossanova: "Whatever Happened to Pong?" and "Thalassocracy" are a one-two blast of energetic fun, but the tight songwriting and detailed arrangements on the strummy "Headache" and gentle, piano-driven "Sir Rockaby" are more interesting. Despite its 22-song length, most of Teenager of the Year's tracks are keepers; the first nine rank among Black's catchiest songs with or without the Pixies. "I Want to Live on an Abstract Plain" and "The Vanishing Spies" mix sweet straightforward melodies with spacy keyboards, and Black delivers a creative love song in "Speedy Marie"; the first letter of each line in the song's second half spells out his girlfriend's name. The driving, anthemic "Freedom Rock" is one of the album's more ambitious tracks, along with the catchy, educational "Ole Mulholland," a musical history lesson about William Mulholland, the developer and planner of Los Angeles' municipal water system. Teenager's beginning is so consistent, it's not surprising that its second half isn't quite as essential, but it's still interesting. The spacy, ska-tinged "Fiddle Riddle," the cryptic "Superabound," and the sprightly final track "Pie in the Sky" — which sounds strangely like a punk version of Gary U.S. Bonds' hit "A Quarter to Three" — all add to the album's individuality. Even less-developed songs like "Fazer Eyes" and "The Hostest with the Mostest" are still worthwhile. Though his later albums took a sparer, simpler approach, Teenager of the Year's ambition and quirkiness begin Black's evolution into a cult artist who makes the music he wants to, regardless of whether or not it's fashionable.

Customer Reviews

Amazing Album

Frank Black really shows his talents on this album with great lyrics and a wide variety of music. Every song is different from the last and the album flows really well. This album really takes you on a trip and never slows down. 5 stars all the way!

one of the greatest musicians of my era

graduating from college in the early 90's, the pixies were always my favorite band (after zeppelin). when the Pixies broke up, i thought my life was over. then i heard frank black's untitled cd. and then i heard teenager of the year. this man is seriously one of the best musicians i've ever heard. from lyrics, to guitar riffs, to overall tempo, he just puts songs together perfectly. it amazes me that Frank Black/Black Francis/Charles Thompson isn't widely regarded as one of the best musicians of our era. because he very obviously is....

Classic

Used to be 16 lanes, used to be Juan Wayne!!!

Biography

Born: April 6, 1965 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

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

Inverting his stage name from Black Francis to Frank Black, the former Pixies lead singer/songwriter embarked on a solo career after he broke up the band in early 1993; actually, he began recording his solo album before he told the band the news. Working with former Pere Ubu member Eric Drew Feldman, Black occasionally heads into the ferocious post-punk guitar territory that marked such landmark albums as Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, but more frequently he plays up his considerably underrated melodic...
Full Bio