Picks and Pans Review: Teenager of the Year

updated 06/06/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/06/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Frank Black

Before Seattle brought you Nirvana, the Pixies were alternative rock's eccentric stars, spinning tales about aliens and other strangers. After the band's 1992 split, bassist Kim Deal went on to even greater things with the Breeders, while lead singer Black Francis (né Charles Michael Kitridge Thompson TV) changed his name to Frank Black. At his subversive best, Black still rides a surf-punk groove. But aside from the affecting "Sir Rockaby" and a few superlative riffs on "Fiddle Riddle," his second effort backs away from the cutting edge, offering more interesting titles—"Whatever Happened to Pong," "Pure Denizen of the Citizen's Band"—than songs. Perhaps Black should consider changing his name and trying again. (Elektra)

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