\ Hip Displeasure: Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #15 » Frank Black - "Fast Man Raider Man"

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #15 » Frank Black - "Fast Man Raider Man"

I wasn't really into the hip indie scene back when The Pixies ruled collegiate airwaves, so I've definitely been a Frankie-come-lately regarding the erstwhile Charles Michael Kittredge IV. But it's absolutely been a case of better late than never, as many of the former Black Francis's albums from the past several years (Black Letter Days, Show Me Your Tears) rank among my favorites from that timeframe. In fact, it wasn't until hearing last year's Honeycomb, his greatly-anticipated collaboration with some of the most legendary session players of all time, that I was finally left feeling less than enthusiastic about one of his albums.

Well, not only did he come right back this year with many of those very same musicians, but he went a step further and released a DOUBLE album. Needless to say, I was more than a little concerned I was going to have to choke down a flat double dose of Honeycomb II, but I was thrilled to learn that Fast Man Raider Man possesses all of the crackling spontaniety the by-numbers Honeycomb was so sorely lacking. As for the length, even though I've had friends tell me they'd like this much better if it were distilled down to a single album, I actually truly enjoy every last track throughout. Songs like "Johnny Barleycorn," "In the Time of My Ruin," "Kiss My Ring," "Elijah" and "It's Just Not Your Moment" are among the finest he's ever done. And in the Frank Black solo canon, including albums recorded with The Catholics, Fast Man Raider Man ranks right up among his very best. This is certainly NOT the time of Frank Black's ruin.

-- FT

FT's Favorite Track: "Kiss My Ring"

This album appeared on the following staffers's lists:

  • FT (#4)
  • Yail Bloor (#6)


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