Friday, July 22, 2005

Greg Smyth Reviews: Frank Black - Honeycomb

Our DB UK Music Correspondent, Greg Smyth, is back with a review of Frank Black's latest. Read more of Greg's reviews at Swing Batter Batter!

As for me, it's Ball Out revisions (chapters are actually beginning to circulate for review, if you can dig!), screenplay strategizing, and trying to get to a million things I've been trying to get to. It was actually a not half-bad week of catch-up overall, which means I may get to head out and see Wedding Crashers this weekend. Oh, and I'm hoping to attend a Showtime event in LA next week, which should be cool.

Anyway, enjoy...


Whether it was reforming the Pixies after years of strong denials, or churning out numerous albums of hugely variable quality since they first split, Frank Black has always been a contrary bastard.

Following Frank's twisted logic, then, the next obvious step was to up sticks, move to redneck mecca Nashville and record a country record.

Amazingly, for the most part, it works. Highlights include 'Strange Goodbye', a disturbingly chipper recount of Black's failed marriage, and a surprisingly straight cover of 'Dark End Of The Street'. Although not in the same league as Gram Parsons', it's a heartfelt and oddly poignant, if slightly plodding, reading.

Sure, we'd prefer it if he stuck to being Francis, but that was never really an option. Honeycomb shows that, when he's not wailing like a banshee on heat, Frank can croon with the best of them.

Frank Black, then, unpredictable country.

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