Saturday 20 May 2000

Teenager of the Year by Frank Black, reviewed by Stephen Theaker

I don't imagine there'll be many people out there who'll agree with me, but this is one of the finest records it is my privilege to own. Frank's writing songs purely to please himself, putting stuff in them just cause it's cool, and making a beautiful sound. None of the Pixies records can match it for breadth, style or vision. In fact, no other records at all match it for those things. Buy it, listen to it, think it's a bit dodgy in places. Six months later you'll be listening to it again, all the pieces of the weird multi-dimensional jigsaw will fall into place, and you'll be glad you listened to me today. Frank was never quite this good before, and so far he hasn't been quite this good again; credit has to go partly to Eric Drew Feldman, whose eerie keyboards create a perfect atmosphere for every song, giving the vocals, drums and guitars something to play off. Some people say there are too many songs. For me, that just gives Frank time to bring you around to his way of thinking. And every single one of those songs has a dozen new ideas to offer...

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