Album Review: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Waiting 23 years to release a new album pretty much sets a band up for failure. Having one of the founding members (Kim Deal) leave acrimoniously prior to the recording also makes this release seem almost unnecessary.

But I won't join the music media's gang style beat down of the new Pixies album (a 2.4 out of 10 from Pitchfork, 3 out of 5 in Rolling Stone) Instead, I will listen with virgin ears to the material and try not to judge it against Pixies classics like Surfer Rosa (1988) and Doolittle (1989).

Gil Norton, the man behind a few of their five-star releases, returns to helm Indie Cindy. His bright, powerful sonics are felt throughout the proceedings and also harken back to the Foo Fighters album The Color & The Shape which Gil also produced. This is arena rock in an era where a "DJ" will sellout Madison Square Garden and "perform" by pushing a few buttons and then checking his twitter feed on his iPhone.

So the 23 years is really where this album feels the pain. Releasing this album in 1995 would have been perfect. But in 2014, it feels a little forced.

Frank Black's songs are still weird, but pop-weird, where most melodies will stick in your head. The lyrics are still obsessed with both aliens and love, a weird cross-section of topics that also feels more suited for music released during Clinton's time in office.

The title track comes off as a love song to "indie" or alternative rock which is a profound concept coming from one of the most important alternative bands ever.

"Another Toe In The Ocean" also has a chord progression that could only come from one band.

But the absence of Kim Deal certainly is felt on most tracks. Her beautiful voice and presence was always the perfect foil for Frank Black's chubby sci-fi nerd sensibilities.

So while Indie Cindy gets my approval overall, here's to hoping Frank and Kim find a way to make nice and hopefully they don't wait another 23 years for the follow up! I give it 3 and 1/2 Empty Lighthouses out of 5.