Pixies - Bossanova (Vinyl)

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Bossanova is the third studio album by American rock band Pixies. It was released in August 13, 1990 on the English indie label 4AD in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States. The album's sound, inspired by surf rock and space rock, complements its lyrical focus on outer space, which references subjects such as aliens and UFOs.
After Pixies finished touring obligations for their second album Doolittle (1989) in January 1990, band members moved from Boston to Los Angeles. Bassist Kim Deal meanwhile stayed in the UK to record the first Breeders album during January with producer Steve Albini. Deal ultimately decided to travel out to Los Angeles with the rest of the group. In contrast to previous records, many songs were written in the studio and few demo recordings were created. Santiago said that the band only practiced for a two-week period, in contrast to previous practice in Boston where the group rehearsed constantly. Black Francis noted, "So I was writing [lyrics] on napkins five minutes before I sang. Sometimes it's good, sometimes not. That's just the nature of that songwriting."


Bossanova I guess is supposed to be the Goo of the group, the one where they went big time and aimed at bigger ears sort of maybe kinda. But let's be serious here. This isn't Sonic Youth here with the no-wave art rock stuff, it's the biggest bounciest most melodic poppy party in the 80's underground, it's the fucking Pixies here. Doolittle might just be the best pop album of the 80's! So the idea of them "going accessible" is a confusing meaningless phrase to my ears. I don't honestly care too much about the crunch on Surfer Rosa sticking around anyway, it was all about the poppy melodies since even Come On Pilgrim and don't pretend otherwise. But there has been change around the house, and the record couldn't sound more different from the Breeder's Pod. And for a good good reason, Kim, Joey, and David have been finally truly muscled aside entirely from creative stewardship. Relations within the band were really bad, and the breakup that was right around the corner was coming into full being by now. Black Francis is in control here like a dictator. Evidently his personal preferences have always been on the more melodic and full sounding material, and I'm going to have to think the sparser sounding material was more on Kim's side of things (again, check out Pod). Things are much more lethargic sounding as a whole, slowed down and less as I said...bouncy. Listening to any Pixies record before and the first adjective to come to mind should have been "bonkers", even on the simpler tracks. But not this one, the bonkers has left the building. Instead there's something much more careful and deliberate about the arrangements (though the lyrics are still as crazy as they wanna be). The biggest loss on this front is the vocals are missing that old Pixies spark, the only track where they really go all out is Rock Music and maybe The Happening, otherwise even just the basic singing is devoid of the strangeness of before. I'd say maybe this was part of the trying to be more accessible thing....but I actually think what Francis was going for was a much more....baroque take on their sound. Yeah, I'm almost seeing him wanting to create a sort of pop symphony of surf guitar, harmonies, and pretty melodies. A sort of Pet Sounds approach if you will. I guess that kind of sounds like it would be awful, but nope, the Pixies have a lush and complex set of sounds at their hands that can very easily be pruned into something like that. As goofy as their sound has been, it's also always been completely respectable and very cool on a purely musical level. And so toning themselves down, far from ruining them, just allows another perspective on an already multi-faceted group. Francis hasn't lost an inch of his incredible songwriting prowess, and considering Kim's success with the Breeders on that front as well he really had some competition this year from me and I was honestly ready to write something unfavorable toward him about that but no way. A more serious and music conscious Pixies is far from a bad thing, it's an excellent thing. Near invincible band these guys.

By: Zephos.

A1 Cecilia Ann
A2 Rock Music
A3 Velouria
A4 Allison
A5 Is She Weird
A6 Ana
A7 All Over The World
B1 Dig For Fire
B2 Down To The Well
B3 The Happening
B4 Blown Away
B5 Hang Wire
B6 Stormy Weather
B7 Havalina

1 x LP on 180g Heavyweight Vinyl.
Released on 4AD / CAD0010