The ongoing metamorphosis of Frank Black takes another interesting turn in "Fast Man Raider Man," a two-disc outing in which the former Pixies front man veers further away from the diabolical shrieks that made him famous.
Like last year's "Honeycomb," this latest batch of songs from Black brings together an assemblage of first-rate session players' folks like Steve Cropper and Al Kooper' for a soul-and-country gumbo. It is talent well used. Buoyed by drowsily seductive horns and honky-tonk keyboards, the record offers such gems as the Van Morrison-styled "If Your Poison Gets You," the brooding Doors riff of "When the Paint Grows Darker Still" and the New Orleans goof of "Dog Sleep."
But at 27 songs, there is inevitable fodder. Some critics have groused that Black could've shaved some songs and made a bang-up single record. I, for one, appreciate the generosity.
- Phil Bacharach