Frank Black – Honeycomb (Back Porch Records)

The Arts — By on July 20, 2005 at 9:45 am

On the evening of April 13, 2004 Frank Black stood on a stage in Minneapolis and performed once again with the Pixies for the first time in over 10 years. In the 4 days previous to the kick-off of this glorious event the man was only to be found in one place, and that was a recording studio in Nashville, TN working on his 10th post Pixies release and first sans-Catholics solo since 1996s let down The Cult of Ray.

As Frank Black had progressed on with The Catholics it was no secret that his sound had found a delightful mixture of a western twang and punk ruckus and on his newest we find him moving ahead, elbow deep in southern soul, and happier than he’s sounded in sometime. For this new record he brought together a collection of legendary Nashville studio musicians to create the wonderous backdrop for his riddled, poetic lyrics.

Honeycomb features 14 tracks, including a duet between Frank and his ex-wife Jean singing of a love lost in the fantastic “Strange Goodbye” while later on the album you’ll find a portrait of his new found love “Violet.” Sprinkled amongst the 11 originals are 3 well wrought covers ranging from “Song of the Shrimp,” featured in Girls Girls Girls starring Elvis Presley; and Doug Sahm’s “Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day,” which Frank had attempted previously in an abandoned album from 2000; to the soulful “Dark End of the Street,” featuring the songs writer Dan Penn. Other standout tracks include “I Burn Today,” “Go Find Your Saint,” “My Life is in Storage” and the albums closer, and original opener, “Sing for Joy,” though no song on this recording should be counted out.

The only unbeknownst let down to this album is the delay it saw in being released and the exclusion of a few finely crafted songs that leaked out months previous. A def 10 for Frank Blacks 10th release and a very welcome continuation to the directions he’s been headed.

Track listing:
01. Selkie Bride
02. I Burn Today
03. Lone Child
04. Another Velvet Nightmare
05. Dark End of the Street
06. Go Find Your Saint
07. Song of the Shrimp
08. Strange Goodbye
09. Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day
10. Honeycomb
11. My Life is in Storage
12. Atom in My Heart
13. Violet
14. Sing for Joy

cover art

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