At first glance Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV - or as he is better known as Black Francis - you might automatically think Football hooligan or even bouncer, actually you would think to yourself 'I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of him'. In short he looks like a double hard bloke, but instead of smashing heads together this guy has compiled eleven rock tunes, you could say he has channelled his anger in a different way or better still, don't judge a book by its cover.
For the music nerds out there who are already wondering, and with a name like Charles Michael Kittidge Thompson IV it is going to be more than a coincidence, it is the same guy that formed Pixies. Probably better known for his ventures with Pixies rather than his solo projects. In the past ten years Black Francis has released over 10 albums, Nonstoperotik (or if you add some capitals and spaces in certain places then you are left with Non Stop Erotik) is his latest addition to the catalogue,today's test will be too not to compare this latest venture with Pixies.
On first impressions Black Francis has gone all Red Hot Chili Peppers especially with the vocals. 'Lake Of Sin' is very much comprised of guitar riffs flying in from all sorts of angles, which is compiled with Anthony Kiedis on vocals. (No sorry not really him, just sounds a lot like him). Everything is slowed down and brought to a more mellow approach with 'O My Tidy Sum' which is nice enough but if you are the slightest bit tired do not listen, you will be asleep in seconds. When you get to 'Wheels' guitars are played in anger again, but Francis' vocals have gone all Mumford And Sons, and lets be right he was probably making music before they were even a twinkle in their dad's eye. The point to all this? Well there isn't one really. The thing about this album is that there are so many twists and turns, you just don't know what is going to happen next. 'Corrina' opens things up to what can only be described as Hillbilly Rock.
The title track Nonstoperotik starts off with a piano being played and could be portrayed as Black Francis's Ballad. It's a soft number not your typical Lungs expanding ballad. It is ones of those things where the music doesn't' actually seem to go with the name. Just something else strange to add to the album.
At the end of the day this guy is going to be fighting a loosing battle, because everyone will just be asking is it as good as the stuff he has done with Pixies. The answer to that is if you're expecting to sound like the material he did with Pixies then you're going to be disappointed. This is a whole new concept and if you want to make the same kind of music then you will do it with the same people. Black Francis likes to have his fingers in all the pies and just enjoys making music.