Black Francis, Bluefinger

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Legendary Dutch punk rocker Herman Brood pervades Frank Black's newest solo venture, his first under the name Black Francis. He's namechecked in a song and Black covers one, as well ("You Can't Break a Heart and Have It"). You can't blame Black: Brood was one of the most wide-ranging Dutch rock musicians of the rock era, moving easily between the deadly serious Ciao Monkey and the hugely funny Go Nutz. Black takes up the mantle easily, tackling the sort of weighty rock & roll that Brood excelled in at the end of this career, fusing it into his distinctively off-kilter sensibility. And, like Brood, he crucially leavens things like the otherwise depressing "Test Pilot Blues" with exclamations like "I love this part!" Short, simple, to-the-point and his best solo record in years, Black could stand to make another unofficial tribute album or two, if these are the results.