Frank Black – Teenager of the Year

ARTIST: Frank Black 220px-Teenager_of_the_year_cover
TITLE: Teenager of the Year
CHART ACTION: #131 US, #2 US Heatseekers, #21 UK
SINGLES: Headache (#10 US Modern Rock, #53 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: College radio played a bundle of these songs.
LINEUP: Black Francis, Eric Drew Feldman, Nick Vincent, Lyle Workman with help from Joey Santiago and Morris Tepper.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A double album of (mostly) delightful songs that could only be from one performer – Frank Black (or Black Francis or whoever).

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This is technically a double album (but it fit on one CD) – it’s 22 songs for Frank Black being himself. Songs about space, abstract planes, songs only tangentially related to the title, a love song for Pong, and lots of catchy songs with a twisted turn.

Most of this record is great. But…and it’s a big but….22 songs is a bit too much. You focus on the songs that don’t work (and there are a few second-tier songs here) than the songs that do. I think it could have been a great 14-16 track album with the other songs B-sides or on an EP or something.

Still, Frank Black lost nothing since the Pixies split, at least on this record. It’s just full of great, magical nuggets. You just have to skip the chaff if you’re not feeling the whole thing.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Feldman and Tepper played with Captain Beefheart in his later stages as a performer.


GRADE: A-: This could have been a solid A (maybe an A+) if some quality control had been exercised. That was the 90’s though – throw EVERYTHING out there. Still, very much recommended to stream.

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