|1. Trompe le Monde|
|2. Planet of Sound|
|3. Alec Eiffel|
|4. Sad Punk|
|5. Head On|
|7. Palace of the Brine|
|8. Letter to Memphis|
|9. Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons|
|10. Space (I Believe In)|
|12. Distance Equals Rate Times Time|
|13. Lovely Day|
|14. Motorway to Roswell|
|15. Navajo Know|
The Pixies are perhaps best known for their excellent dance-punk-pop-grunge record Doolittle. The album's anthem, Debaser, and the poppier, happy-go-lucky-seeming Here Comes Your Man quickly win even the reluctant newcomers over. In terms of the Pixies' catalogue, Doolittle is easy listening. If Doolittle is the suburbs (which is a stretch, and no offense meant as I have only the most intense, burining respect for the Pixies cataloge as a whole) then Trompe Le Monde is just north of downtown, where most of the cars are pieced together with duct tape and nobody will walk at night. Things are just as messed up (well, perhaps a bit more messed up), but downtown they don't gloss it over. They don't cut their lawns, and uncollected newspapers rot in the bushes. Things are a little harder to look at here.
The first song, the title track, is very indicative of the record's sound and lyrics. On preliminary listens, the snippets of lyrics that can be easily discerned seem ridiculous ("go little record go/it is named by/some guy named joe). But what's ridiculous and what's not is entirely up to Black Francis in this case--after all, we take his screaming about french dogs seriously, don't we? Upon further investigation, the absurdity melts into a gorgeous, fractured imagery of the lost and the hunted.
Upon first listening to Trompe Le Monde, I was surprised at how reminescent it was of the Jesus and Mary Chain's Automatic--even without the cover of Head On, the two albums would have a lot in common. And this cover is one of the rare cases where, when returning to the original version, something seems missing--Joey Santiago's solo is far more melodic than the original version, and, I fear to say it, improves the song. And may I burn in hell for saying it, but I like the cover better. There, it's out. I can already see the mob in the distance, lighting their torches and gathering pitchforks.
Other highlights include U-Mass, with its awful, twisted dance beat and the only time I've heard words for the female genitalia shouted eloquently; Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons, where Kim Deal's bassline again proves her worth to the band (as if it were ever doubted); and the spectacular goth-night-club sprawl of a song, Subbacultcha, whose female protagonist is lauded as "looking like an erotic vulture". Honestly, though, I could count each of the tracks as a highlight in itself.
So, if you're brave enough, roll up your car windows and hide your wallet and go for it--Trompe Le Monde is something that needs to be seen, and is worth the trip.
Well, like many incredible albums, this one took a while to grow on me. Today, it's one of my top 10. I can't understand how so many fans don't count this one as being in the same leauge as Surfer and Doolittle. Yes, Kim Deal seems to be less involved, and as much as I always thought her voice was their secret weapon, the songs are just too good to hold that against them.
I will agree that if you're new to the band, start with one of the earlier CDs first. This album is, to me, like a graduate course for Pixie fans. Once you've heard their other music (all great, mind you), you can handle this one. Perhaps I took the course too early, which accounted for my initial dislike.
In 1991 there was only 1 album better than this and even that album had alot to thank the Pixies for. Read more