There are some artists from whom you want experimentation. Others you want to do what they do well. It's fair to say that Black Francis falls firmly into the latter category. Do we really want Black Francis acoustic? Do we really want Black Francis making a dance album? No, we do not. We want Black Francis yelling his head off against a backdrop of guitar-driven noise, right?
Luckily, then, Mr Francis knows what the score is, and he does not disappoint. There's even some Kim Deal-esque backing vocals for good measure. Perhaps Mr F has mellowed a little: the guitars aren't into overload territory, and the vocal isn't quite of "lock him up" grade madness, but you still wouldn't want to live next door to him, just in case. It sounds very much like he's singing "I'll drink piss on the seventh floor" for starters. Makes me glad I don't live in a flat.
This is very much a Ronseal record, in that it does exactly what you would expect it to. If you like Black Francis, you'll probably like this. However, I can't help wondering whether he could have gone just that bit further - it could sound bigger, louder, nastier, more deranged. The guitars could be set to "stun" and the vocals to "off his head". Could be a lot worse, though: he could have gone country.