I have a feeling this album will result in a split camp between fans: the die hard Black Francis/Pixies fans, hopelessly devoted to their quirky, influential style; and those fans who look smilingly upon the Pixies (because honestly, who doesn’t?) but are willing to accept Frank Black moving in a decidedly different direction.
Black’s latest album Fast Man, Raider Man hearkens back to pre-Pixies music, as it experiments in classic rock, southern soul, and blues. While this is a definite divergence from the previous Pixie-ish style, the double album still is an apt representation of Black’s talent, and, above all, versatility as an artist.
Personally, I enjoy a musician who is not afraid of taking risks and branching out beyond their “safe” genre. Frank Black certainly does this here, within the double album exploring a number of different genres, incorporating them into one another, and creating an interesting and appealing sound. If you’re a die-hard Pixies fan, perhaps this isn’t the album for you–but don’t write it off completely. Like the Pixies, Black still explores interesting, to-the-point lyrics, and experiments outside of a traditional quartered time signature. My only complaint is in the end of the first disk, which borders on too slow and mellow. Just the same, the album has only grown on me. The second disc packs a bigger hit than the first, but both are demonstrative of a musician who is consistently proving himself to belong in the ranks of music legends.