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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
1733 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2011 :  09:52:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Two reviews on Metacritic so far: one from the Phoenix and the other from Uncut. I think it is fair to say there is no clear critical consensus so far!:

http://www.metacritic.com/music/paley-francis

"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
1733 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2011 :  09:57:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An 8 out of 10 review:

http://www.shout4music.com/album-reviews/paley-francis-paley-francis/

This might be the first album that Reid Paley and Black Francis have released as a duo, but it isn’t their first collaboration. Francis produced Paley’s debut solo album and the two have performed together, and in Paley & Francis their rapport is evident. To be honest, any pair of musicians would have know one another fairly well to do what these two songwriters did: they spent three days in an apartment writing songs and in that short space of time came up with a dozen high quality tracks. The pair alternate between lead vocal duties: Francis’ flattened yelps are a perfect counterpart to Paley’s vocals, which sound like they’ve spent a while buried at the bottom of a bottle. With two songwriters at work here, the range of influences is pretty broad, and the some pretty big names come to mind here: Lou Reed, Nick Cave and Randy Newman are all detectable. Many listeners will have high expectations of Black Francis, and they won’t be disappointed. But if anyone has the edge here it’s actually the lesser known Reid Paley. In fact, the best thing about this album is its potential to introduce him to a new audience.



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
1733 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2011 :  10:02:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Three out of five stars; not bad for Randy Newman on absinthe:

http://www.artrocker.tv/albums/article/paley-francis-paley-francis

We know all about Black Francis, but just who the dang is this Reid Paley fellow? Here's a quick bio: formerly the frontman of early 1980s 'blues band from hell' The Five, Reid has collaborated with the Pixies guru many times over the years, co-songwriting and touring on at least three Frank Black solo albums.

Their debut 'official' collaboration was taped in just 48 hours, resulting in a natural looseness to the performances, as well as sketched rather than sculpted songwriting.

For the most part the tempo is set to 'late night mellowness'; rocking out is not on the cards, although songs such as 'Deconstructed' and 'Praise 3' have a nice 'Hunky Dory' feel to them, with saxophones tastefully interrupting the bar-room singsongs. Elsewhere Twin Peaks-esque seediness is in the air for 'Curse', on which Francis kindly offers to "have a drink - from your jugular vein".

Throughout the record Paley sounds like a shaggy old sea-dog, and while the chemistry between him and Francis couldn't be called electrifying, the songs sound pleasingly like Randy Newman on Absinthe, with just a hint of toned-down Pixies.



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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The Maharal
= Cult of Ray =

960 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2011 :  13:09:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
http://www.allmusic.com/album/paley-francis-r2247442/review

Review
by Heather Phares
Since the late ‘90s, Black Francis -- or Frank Black, take your pick -- has thrived on quickly made projects, and Paley & Francis is no exception. Recorded in two days in Nashville, Tennessee when Francis was on a break during the Pixies' 2010 tours, the album has the kind of off-the-cuff, palpable sense of fun that happens when two old friends lay down tracks together (joined by Muscle Shoals players David Hood and Spooner Oldham). These songs reside in the same rootsy/punky territory as much of Francis' 2000s solo work, which isn’t surprising since Reid Paley, Hood, and Oldham have worked with him on many of those projects. Yet Paley & Francis has its own identity, if only because Paley steps up to the mike this time. The pair trade lead vocal duties, each offering a distinct but complementary approach: Paley's gruff tones evoke a younger Tom Waits, but the bluesy ramble “On the Corner” and pure pop jangle of “Ugly Life” have an affably light touch. Meanwhile, Francis has fun on urban fairy tales like “Curse” and “Magic Cup,” both of which boast his unmistakable voice and angular riffs. What really sells the album, however, is its fresh, unstudied feel; these are first takes, and songs such as “Crescent Moon” feel like the listener is sitting in on a particularly inspired rehearsal. Francis and Paley fans alike will enjoy this laid-back immediacy.

Got 3.5 stars out of 5.

Must actually get around to buying the album.
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
1733 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2011 :  08:20:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh dear: a one star review by Jonathan Scott, Record Collector magazine:

http://www.recordcollectormag.com/reviews/review-detail/7665

Forgettable Americana

Paley and Francis have worked together for some time, the former supporting Frank Black through a number of tours and collaborating on Black’s solo projects Honeycomb and Fast Man Raider Man. Both men have a plug-in-and-play attitude to recording, proudly admitting that the 10 tracks that form this debut were cut over two short days in September 2010: all first takes. But the resulting unfocused alt.country splurge is far from successful. Right from the off, Paley’s wolfish gripes are uneasy against Black’s skewed barks – the exact reverse of the pleasing Francis/Violet Clark vocal mix on the Grand Duchy album of 2008.

In the past, Black has recorded with Steve Cropper and Reggie Young, while here he rubs shoulders with Muscle Shoals regulars Spooner Oldham on piano and David Hood on bass. They lend some backbone to the likes of Johnny lee Hooker-style shuffle Magic Cup, but the Nashville sound rarely works with Black’s style.

While a few high points come when Black takes over the mic (Crescent Moon, Praise), the majority of these songs massively outstay their welcome. The only ray of light is closer Happy Shoes, which is reminiscent of another high-profile collaborative track: the much more successful California Stars by Wilco and Billy Bragg.



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
1733 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2011 :  08:24:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

A much more positive review, by Mike Rubino, Pop Damage. Don't think this has been posted before:

http://pop-damage.com/?p=7133

If you put a bunch of monkeys in a room full of typewriters, they’re supposed to eventually produce Hamlet. While that theory is still waiting to be tested, it’s now been proven that if you stick two prolific songwriters in a hotel suite for a couple of days, they’ll come out with a killer LP. Black Francis and Reid Paley have worked together in varying capacities for the past two decades. Paley’s opened for Francis. Francis has produced a number of Paley’s albums. The two have written a slew of beautiful songs together–including “I’m Not Dead (I’m in Pittsburgh)” and “Golden Shore” off of Black’s Fast Man Raider Man. Their first officially titled collaboration, Paley & Francis, comes from only two days of studio recording and a handful of hours writing. These guys put those monkeys to shame.

Sure, anyone could whip together 38 minutes of music in a couple days. The speed with which they assembled these ten tracks–all of which were recorded in single takes and completed before Francis had to report for Pixies performances–isn’t important until you hear them. It’s an excellent album. Paley & Francis is a simple, emotional record that lets each songwriter play to his strengths while supporting the other. Paley retains his heavy, post-punk growl (which he honed in Pittsburgh with his band The Five), and Francis returns to the soft, half-yelling/half-falcetto voice from his Nashville session albums. Their voices clash in a wonderful way.

Their singing styles are juxtaposed right away in the opening track, “Curse.” David Hood’s crawling bass line gives way to their first attempt at harmony: “I’ll have a drink/from your jugular vein.” It’s miss-matched and grotesque, further accentuated by Paley barking “hey!” intermittently. The song, one of their strongest, grabs you immediately and establishes the album’s forlorn tone.

Paley and Francis alternate tracks on the album, a tactic that is simultaneously jarring and refreshing. The second song, a slow burn, bluesy, piano ballad, “On the Corner,” features Paley’s thick, gravely voice in full effect–he sounds like a grizzled 90-year-old war veteran. Many of the tracks feature piano and organ work by Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section member Spooner Oldham. His skilled tickling adds an element of dirty, Tennessee barroom flavor to the album, especially on Reid’s songs. It’s as if you walked into Slim’s bar to smoke a few cigarettes over an icy Budweiser and these guys are rocking out in the corner… possibly behind a cage.

The duo play well together, but I gravitated towards Francis’s tracks largely because I prefer his style of songwriting. Since leaving the Pixies, Francis’s style has evolved from loud indie-rocker to country/folk singer, and his most recent albums have found him settling on an amalgam of the two styles. His songs on Paley & Francis exercise these different sides of his musicianship: “Magic Cup” is a creatively written jangler that could fit nicely on Bluefinger; “Crescent Moon,” my favorite track on the album, is soft and Honeycomb-esque; and “Praise” is another Francis strummer, this time with a saxophone wailing in the background. Even when Francis’s songs veer towards dark places lyrically, his tracks keep the album from being too brooding and bluesy.

If you’re looking for those brooding, rough songs, then Reid Paley’s tracks will do just fine. Tracks like “Ugly Life” and “Deconstructed” are bitter, repetitive (in a good way), and pessimistic. The latter is in line with Paley’s post-punk days, and features a great piano breakout with Oldham. Even “Happy Shoes,” Paley’s closing song, sounds gloomy despite the lyrics telling us all to put on our good footwear and carry on with our lives.

Black Francis and Reid Paley, despite their slightly different styles, both possess the ability to craft great music. The fact that they did such in just a couple days, and in a single take, is a testament to their skill and dedication. Paley & Francis is a quick sampling of both independent musicians and the city of Nashville. These guys could teach those monkeys a thing or two about efficiency.



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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vilainde
>> Denizen of the Citizens Band <<

Niue
7438 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2011 :  10:04:56  Show Profile  Visit vilainde's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ten Percenter
the exact reverse of the pleasing Francis/Violet Clark vocal mix on the Grand Duchy album of 2008.





Denis


Obsidiana Bijoux
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
1733 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2011 :  07:50:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From the world renowned Mudkiss fanzine:

Paley & Francis – Paley & Francis

It’s always exciting hearing about Black Francis from The Pixies working on another project. Forever known as the iconic, larger than life front man of the one of the most inspirational and successful alternative groups of the last 30 years, he has now teamed up to collaborate with his long time acquaintance and friend Reid Paley.

Recorded in just 2 short days in Nashville Tennessee, Paley and Francis relish their DIY ethics even now as they push on the winter of their career. As soon as the album starts, you hear Francis’ high distinct vocals dominating the minimalist production on the track ‘I Put A Curse On You’. The two vocalists seem to contrast and compliment one another with their extreme difference and range of styles. Paley’s struggling voice moans over the bluesy riff and piano on second track ‘On the Corner’. As the album continues it is evident that Francis has been open to Paley’s ideas as the blues post-punk comes as a fresh approach to the ex-Pixies front man’s usual style. If you’re expecting the usual Frank Black screaming punk style, then you’ll be very disappointed.

Paley strains and pushes his vocals throughout the album, sounding like an aged Bruce Springsteen. With Francis backing him with his sweet tone and original surf-pop guitar arpeggios, they sell the album well to fans of blues and simple pop melody structures. The album is a triumph for accessing older styles that are rarely used in the current music climate and is well worth the money


"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 10/12/2011 :  07:56:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is written by some Black Francis newbie/wannabe called Brian Salvatore. As a result it must have been posted before? If you want both insight and erudition, Brian is your man:

http://thewaster.com/

Brooklyn, NY --- Reid Paley and Black Francis first met in Boston in 1986, and both were fronting bands that often times would cross paths. Paley’s band was called The Five and Francis was in a band called the Pixies. The two became friends, then tour mates, then songwriting partners and now, twenty five years later, they are releasing Paley & Francis, an album featuring ten new songs written and recorded in the span of ten days in September 2010.

Many readers are no doubt familiar with Francis (real name Charles Thompson) from his work with the aforementioned Pixies, as well as his many solo albums under the name Frank Black. If you saw Frank Black in the New York area in the last fifteen years and you got there early enough, there is a good chance you saw the Reid Paley Trio open the show. This was how I was introduced to Paley’s work – with a loud kick to the chest from the raucous sound emerging from the stage. The songs played that night stayed with me for weeks and months afterward. The power of the trio was usurped by the raw intensity of his vocals and the cuttingly clever and honest lyrics the vocals delivered. From that night on, I was hooked.

Thirteen months ago, Black Francis was in town for a run of three nights at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. Before each of those shows, Francis would decamp to Brooklyn and he and Paley would write together. When they had ten songs instrumentally written, they split them in half and each wrote lyrics for their five (and eventually each take lead vocals on their own set of lyrics). Just a few days later, they reconvened in Nashville, and cut the record in two days at producer Jon Tiven’s home studio. Over espresso and rain one Thursday in Brooklyn, I met with Reid Paley and we discussed the songwriting and recording process that led to this album.

“Right over there,” Paley says as he points to the far side of the room. “We each had a guitar and we sat across from each other and banged out a bunch of song ideas.” Francis already had studio time booked in Nashville for later in that week and he invited Paley down to try and make a record in two short days. “We couldn’t work regular studio hours, 10 or 12 hours a day, because there were Pixies shows each night, and the tour was moving on after the second show.” Paley also explained that Tiven’s home studio is quite small, and so there wasn’t a lot of room for things like, say, a drum kit. From those strict parameters, a record emerged.

On Paley & Francis, roles are constantly being established and then subverted. On the opening track, “Curse,” Francis takes on the role of rhythm guitarist, strumming his acoustic guitar to a steady beat, while Paley’s Gibson SG cuts through with a distorted stab here and there. It would be easy to read this relationship into their songwriting as well; outside of this collaboration, Francis shows more of a pop sensibility, and Paley takes a rougher approach. However, on this record that script is quickly flipped; “Ugly Life,” a Paley vocal and lyric, is perhaps the most polished, catchy song in the batch, and features Francis’s rhythmic right hand not strumming, but playing a lead riff on his acoustic. Similarly, “Magic Cup,” a Francis lead performance, has a tricky descending riff in 9/8 time and features the type of blues-stomp that Paley has mastered over the years.

In fact, when looking at the lyric sheet before hearing the record, I found it very difficult to differentiate who wrote which set of lyrics. Certain phrases that, to me, screamed Paley were Francis lines, and vice versa. When brought together, there is an energy present that causes both songwriters to adapt their craft and take on a little of the other. This is also true of the songs the pair had written together in the past. On Christmas, a 2006 album credited to Frank Black, Paley co-wrote “Don’t Get Me Wrong.” There is a line in the song that reads: “I’m only nailed to this cross for so long.” When I next saw Paley, I complemented him on the song and told him that as soon as I heard that lyric, I knew it was his. To my surprise, that quintessentially Paley lyric was in fact, the only lyric Francis contributed to the song. The unique symbiotic relationship the two share when collaborating is all the more remarkable when considering how strong both personalities are when making records apart.

Backing Francis and Paley on the album is a small ensemble of Nashville session musicians associated with producer Tiven. The core of the band is made up of David Hood on bass guitar and Spooner Oldham on keyboards. If those names don’t ring a bell to you, their playing certainly should. Both are alums of the Muscle Shoals group of studio musicians, known for backing up the likes of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and countless others. Hood’s bass propels the songs forward without ever overplaying, while Oldham picks his spots better than almost anyone else on the planet. Besides for some brushed snare drum (and the occasional saxophone or shaker), Hood and Oldham are the only accompaniment Francis and Paley get here. The stripped down, almost relaxed feel is surprising considering that these are all first takes – it is rare to have something be both immediate and lived in, and yet that is the quality many of these songs have.

One of the things that Paley and I discussed at length was the emphasis on the speed at which the album was created. “People get hung up on that; what would they rather, Tusk? Would it be better if it took years and millions of dollars to make? The suspicion of doing things fast!” The point is a fair one, especially when how many hit records feature so many song doctors and studio shamans that all of the soul is shucked from the record. If two days is all you have, who says that isn’t enough to make a record? This is real life, and studios are expensive, and sometimes, you only have a very small window in which to record.

Yes, the results of these real-life circumstances are perhaps a little more ragged than if there was a week to make the record. But this is rock and roll – isn’t ragged part of the charm? There is nothing anesthetized on this album; the songs come from a real place and, stripped of the luxury of endless edits and rewrites, cut right to the heart. There were three days to write the songs; there were four days to write lyrics; there were two days to record the songs; there was only space to bring one electric guitar. With circumstances like that, every little decision matters. Every variable is important and on display, and the results feel far more real than if there was a major label footing the bill and limitless time to fiddle about. Paley said that, because of the quick turnaround time of writing and recording the record, he had to listen to it intensely to re-learn his parts for the live shows supporting the record. “With most things I record, I need at least a year before I can come back to it and appreciate it, but with these songs, I’m not getting sick of hearing them.” That is another benefit of the immediacy; there isn’t time to get bored of them – they exist, warts and all, as the end result of a whirlwind process, and there is nothing left to do but enjoy them. As Paley sings to close out the album, “Put on your happy shoes/There’s nothing left to lose/Just one more honest bruise/Let’s live another day.”



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11674 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2011 :  11:39:43  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow, I missed the intro and thought to myself, "this guy knows his $%^#@" then interrupted my read halfway through to find the author. Well done, Bri.

Also, bedrock ain't so bad.


"Now you're officially my woman. Kudos. I can't say I don't envy you."
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Mac E. Doobage
= Cult of Ray =

503 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2011 :  16:00:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You smacked this one right outta the box!
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Joey Joe Jo Jr. Chabadoo
* Dog in the Sand *

1056 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2011 :  02:10:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since 2007, it is interesting to see how Black Francis is sort of avoiding the best collaborator that could suit him in terms of songwriting and voices: i.e. Kim Deal

++++
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darwin
>> Denizen of the Citizens Band <<

USA
5448 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2011 :  04:00:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If reports are to be believed, she is the one avoiding it.
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Grotesque
= Cult of Ray =

France
777 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2011 :  11:51:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Joey Joe Jo Jr. Chabadoo

Since 2007, it is interesting to see how Black Francis is sort of avoiding the best collaborator that could suit him in terms of songwriting and voices: i.e. Kim Deal

++++



Not at all: he even admited very frankly (as usual) that was the idea of grand duchy. He perfectly knows that, maybe not as his personal taste but at least in terms of public response.
Pesonaly I think the best voice for his backing vocal is... himself!
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Ziggy
* Dog in the Sand *

United Kingdom
2411 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2011 :  12:04:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Joey Joe Jo Jr. Chabadoo

Since 2007, it is interesting to see how Black Francis is sort of avoiding the best collaborator that could suit him in terms of songwriting and voices: i.e. Kim Deal

++++




Songwriting? Kim doesn't write Pixies songs (with a couple of exceptions).
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hammerhands
* Dog in the Sand *

Canada
1592 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2011 :  14:51:09  Show Profile  Visit hammerhands's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Where can I buy this in Canada? It's not in the Sonic Unyon or BF.net stores.

Amazon.ca doesn't have it in stock and has an import available on the 18th.
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Joey Joe Jo Jr. Chabadoo
* Dog in the Sand *

1056 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2011 :  22:15:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ziggy

quote:
Originally posted by Joey Joe Jo Jr. Chabadoo

Since 2007, it is interesting to see how Black Francis is sort of avoiding the best collaborator that could suit him in terms of songwriting and voices: i.e. Kim Deal

++++




Songwriting? Kim doesn't write Pixies songs (with a couple of exceptions).





Note that I used "could". Kim deal is a songwriter, isn't she?

++++
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 10/15/2011 :  04:17:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From Earbuddy.net; rated 6.3 out of 10:

http://www.earbuddy.net/2011/10/paley-francis-paley-francis-review.html

Black Francis and Pittsburgh songwriter Reid Paley have been working together for the better part of ten years at this point, though you may not know it. Paley has co-written several great songs in Francis' solo catalog (including the classic "I'm Not Dead, I'm In Pittsburgh"). Francis also produced Paley's first solo record, Lucky's Tune. Paley has also put in a few stints as support on Francis' tours. With Paley & Francis, the two finally put together a full-on collaboration and one that will probably jolt most listeners (presumably expecting a Frank Black record).

Paley is given first billing for the collaboration, and that seems to ring true in the performance. The record is mostly devoid of Francis' signature whacky cadences and the songwriting more direct/less surreal than a typical Francis affair. Paley has drawn a lot of comparisons to Tom Waits for his vocal delivery and quirky turns of phrase, but I think a more apt description of his style is Kris Kristofferson with a dab of Mike Watt. Whatever the metaphor, Paley is really very enjoyable here. His lead tracks are my the strongest on the record and even his backing vocal for Francis is a highlight for those songs (particularly on "Seal").

One look at the album cover, and you might be afraid that this record was thrown together. You would be right. Recorded in just two days, the album's biggest drawbacks are the plodding, clunky, and painfully minimal arrangements. Paley and Francis are both singers that demand attention, but the instrumentations here are so slight that they end up taking focus away from the singers. What results is a record that sounds more like a collection of outtakes than a fully completed work. In a way, that is what the record is. Every song on Paley & Francis is a first take. Slight instrumentation can work (just check out the Big Harp release last month), but this feels a little lazy. The strength of Paley's personality goes a long way to letting these songs grow with additional listen, but it's too slight to be with you for very long. I would be very interested to see these two take more time to put together a full record or at least one that is a bit more raucous.



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 10/15/2011 :  04:24:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terrence Adams is clearly a huge fan of the album:

http://agitreader.com/reviews/album_reviews-10.11.11.html

What happens when you take lounge music from hell to a place where they only serve lattes and non-alcoholic beer? Well, you get the brain child of Reid Paley and Black Francis. Paley & Francis is not only a terrible album, but a truly bad idea from two songwriters who should know better.

Along with generally being much too long, the songs here are by far the most generic and disappointing either musician has made in their entire careers. Reid Paley on his own is a fantastic songwriter that deserves the best that a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack has to offer, while Black Francis is still, after all of these years on his own (usually as Frank Black), trying to find his identity as a solo artist and has certainly done much more important work than this. Call it a favor to a friend who isn’t as popular as he is. Basically, this album is trying to be funny and dark at the same time and unfortunately ends up being boring and trite. The best song on the record, “Curse,” is nothing more than a bastardized soul number that allows each artist to sing front and center. There’s no excuse for either of these bosom buddies to make something as overblown and under thought as this. One would assume that this pairing was something that was better when it was simply cutting room material and not the basis of a tour that spanned multiple cities and multiple months. To put things bluntly, the only people who care about Paley and Francis’ friendship are Paley and Francis, and for better or worse, it should have stayed that way.



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 10/15/2011 :  04:26:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Geoff Plant concludes that P & F is a grower:

http://alibi.com/music/37868/Sonic-Reducer-Micro-reviews-of-The-Angel-Babies.html

After initially asking myself "what is this crap?" this album really grew on me. It takes a while to adjust to the laid-back sound, kind of a Randy Newman meets Leonard Cohen affair. The band features some loose piano playing by Spooner Oldham along with minor guitar chords that complement the misanthropic lyrics perfectly. "I'll take a drink from your jugular vein / I'll unleash my cats on your salty brain," sings Black Francis on “Curse.” Strange. Cool. Comes out in September. (GP)



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 10/15/2011 :  04:28:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A five out of seven review - "not a masterpiece, but a sweet companion":

http://www.kentuckyseven.se/blogg/tag/paley-francis/


¤ This is nothing new under the sun. This is full proof, one hundred per cent, bootstompin, regular fit, no bullshit, highwayadoring music. Old-Stove-Rock-n-Roll.

Black Francis’ collaboration with Reid Paley was recorded in two days in Nashville, Tennessee. All first takes. The pals wrote the music in Paley´s apartment in Brooklyn over three afternoons when Francis was in New York. They cut out all nonsense.

It all comes together in the song ‘Seal’. Just a beautiful, swaggering tale with an irresistible backbone of guitars, a bonafied small song that grows up to a 10-storey-building. The way it sneaks up on you makes me wanna go sky-diving or head straight into the next bar. I could have ‘Seal’ on repeat all year around – still smiling.

Black Francis is best known as the frontman if The Pixies and solo-ing as Frank Black. Reid Paley is a NYC singer-songwriter who had different band constellations since the 80’s. Together they sound great. It´s not a masterpiece, but it´s a sweet companion. Fair enough.



"I thought that I had reached bedrock, but I had yet to hear Dean's His Kingly Cave"
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Ten Percenter
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 10/15/2011 :  10:40:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An interesting piece by Christopher Arnott:

http://scribblers.us/?p=1956

I love Black Francis/Frank Black’s quieter albums because they’re still loud as fuck. The man did not come equipped with a tremor control. Since he’s a seriously underappreciated lyricist, it’s a pleasure to have all the words (and not just buzzwords like “Debaser”) rise above the glorious din. In fact, it’s the playing and singing that shines through on this debut album for a duo who’ve worked together on and off in band situations for years. The songs can be rather uneven, but if you concentrate on how Black Francis and Reid Paley poke and prod each other as performer, the lighter-weight material catches right up to the better-written stuff.
I was a Boston scenester in the ‘80s, so Reid Paley comes separately into my consciousness, and not as Black’s “discovery” or somesuch. I knew about Paley for years before I stumbled onto the Pixies. He was a guitarist punks could dig—economical, never show-offy. It’s a pleasure to hear him sing again on this album in his distinguished rasp, which he can band into the blues (“On the Corner”) or deliver matter-of-factly as in “Ugly Life.” Black Francis rightfully rules the mic for most songs, however. If you only connect him with his growling past, you forget he has a higher register he can access, howling at the moon in “Magic Cup” and ?Crescent Moon.

Stripping the arrangements down to Paley & Francis’ own best instruments allows for nuance. Since neither man is prone to jamminess or trippiness, we’re talking neat solos and jabby instrumental interchanges that remind you of the Beatles in how much gets done in a short amount of time. The album was produced by Jon Tiven (Connecticut-raised brother of Dumptruck’s Seth Tiven; the Tivens were fighting the good indie rock battle in New Haven around the same time that Francis and Paley were setting things up in Boston.

Friendly and comfortable then. Mature in the we-can-do-this-sitting-down sense. Still experimenting, though, and challenging each other, beholden to no influences save for early Velvet Underground. In Paley & Francis’ hands, a simple riff and insignificant chorus (“the sun is bright/the sky is blue/and so are you/and so are you”) become “Deconstructed”—literally, that’s the name of the song, as intricately blown apart and put back together as anything either man has done, and you can hear every dainty deconstruction.



"I had finally reached bedrock, and was dangerously addicted to Grand Duchy. Luckily Dean checked me in to the Petits Fours Clinic"
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the acorahs
- FB Fan -

United Kingdom
181 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2011 :  14:47:05  Show Profile  Visit the acorahs's Homepage  Click to see the acorahs's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I was surprised how good it actually is. Pretty good album after several listens. It is quite catchy and has a real atmosphere to it.

Also, the way the man sings "devotee" on 'Curse' is worth the album price alone.

----------------------------------------

http://snailhead.bandcamp.com/
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pixie punk
> Teenager of the Year <

2923 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2011 :  07:48:56  Show Profile  Visit pixie punk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
http://streetdate.radio.com/2011/10/17/black-francis-paley-and-francis-exclusive-interview/

PUERTO RICO PIXIE
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pixie punk
> Teenager of the Year <

2923 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2011 :  07:55:57  Show Profile  Visit pixie punk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
http://exystence.net/blog/2011/10/17/paley-francis-paley-francis-2011/#more-19800

PUERTO RICO PIXIE
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Carl
- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

Ireland
11546 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2011 :  10:01:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
mxdwn.com - Paley & Francis – Paley & Francis.
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pixie punk
> Teenager of the Year <

2923 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  03:36:05  Show Profile  Visit pixie punk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
http://consequenceofsound.net/2011/10/album-review-paley-francis-paley-and-francis/

PUERTO RICO PIXIE
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Grotesque
= Cult of Ray =

France
777 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  04:18:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anybody knows why songwriters almost never "songwrite" together? I dont know about the making of this album, but it clearly sounds as half a solo album of each one, just as the later beatles albums or any records of a band that features more than one songwriter. I know it can be painfull to mix your style with another one when you're an acomplished stylist, but it also good to experiment. Look at the Stranglers: their style in their golden era (Black and White, The raven...) was a perfect mix of their 4 personalities. I dont think this is the case here.

Edited by - Grotesque on 10/18/2011 04:20:28
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hammerhands
* Dog in the Sand *

Canada
1592 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2011 :  04:56:36  Show Profile  Visit hammerhands's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've heard that in the Country Music world there are lots of get-togethers for the purpose of writing, Randy Bachman talks about writing dates on his show Vinyl Tap, and there were lots of songwriting teams for Broadway, mostly a composer and a lyricist.

Brainstorming is often best done in a group, you can knock-out a pretty solid song quickly if you have some tools.

You can sometimes think of yourself as the crafter, some song ideas are very personal in their subject or significance, sometimes they represent a challenge or a change. When you are crafting something you can become very protective.

Groups are stress. Talented people are passionate people.
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Carl
- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

Ireland
11546 Posts

Posted - 10/20/2011 :  04:02:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
American Songwriter - Reid Paley & Black Francis: Paley & Francis.

mxdwn.com - Reid Paley: Deep Sensitive Songwriter.
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Ten Percenter
- FB Enquirer -

United Kingdom
1733 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2011 :  03:47:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A two star review in the Irish Times (come back Bazza, all is forgiven):

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2011/0902/1224303327307.html

Reid Paley is a New York singer-songwriter with a history of performing in genre bands, from post-punk, blues, roots/ folk and country. Black Francis (aka Frank Black), a formerand sometime member of Pixies, is a singer-songwriter and performer who has collaborated with Paley down through the years. It seemed almost a given that at some point the pair would actually make an album together. To say that the self-titled result is bland is understating the case – Paley & Francis is an example of two accomplished musicians loosely writing songs together without anyone looking over their shoulders or calling a halt when it became clear that quality wasn’t going to get a look-in. Some musicians engage in similar exercises and the results are equal parts charming, atmospheric and, occasionally, vital. There’s very little of that nature here, folks. Move along, please.

"I had finally reached bedrock, and was dangerously addicted to Grand Duchy. Luckily Dean checked me in to the Petits Fours Clinic"
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The Maharal
= Cult of Ray =

960 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2011 :  12:58:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Have to say, I quite like the album. None of the songs are fantastic (besides Ugly Life, perhaps) but the vast majority are catchy and just nice. I'm really liking all the BF cuts (which are all really melodic) and most of the Paley ones are very good (I do find On The Corner and The Last Song a bit dull).
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11674 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2011 :  16:07:20  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andy, a signature that doesn't mention His Kingly Cave!!! I think this is what it must sound like, when angels sing.

On the other hand, FB is a "sometime" member of the Pixies?


"Now you're officially my woman. Kudos. I can't say I don't envy you."
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seanunyon
- FB Fan -

Canada
64 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2011 :  04:31:35  Show Profile  Visit seanunyon's Homepage  Reply with Quote
New review posted yesterday on Ground Control Mag outta San Diego CA:

http://www.groundcontrolmag.com/detail/3/2697/

ARTIST: Paley & Francis - [Album]
DATE: 10-24-11
REVIEW BY: Bill Adams
ALBUM: Paley & Francis
LABEL: Sonic Unyon/Cooking Vinyl

Over the last ten years, singer/guitarist Charles Thompson (a.k.a. Black Francis, a.k.a. Frank Black) has seemed intent on proving to his fans that the scope of sound he's capable of creating is limited only by his imagination – but the catch is that not everything he has recorded necessarily merits release. Since 2001, Thompson has put out
fourteen albums of new material but, for every gold nugget he has presented (like Devil's Workshop, Honeycomb and Bluefinger), there have been as many lumps of coal (including Black Letter Days, Svn Fngrs and Abbabubba) released through the same timeline. Because of that, hearing of another release from this most prolific performer
(it's his second this year) could be met with as much enthusiasm as it could be trepidation and speculation; the verdict on the quality of the music being out until the record spins.

Fans will be relieved to hear that Thompson's collaboration with Reid Paley, simply entitled Paley & Francis, is most definitely a keeper. This time choosing to rely on nothing more than acoustic guitars and a clean, C&W rhythm section, the duo successfully intertwines their unique fascinations (a bit of otherworldly and occasionally
existential stargazing from Thompson and a bit of stargazing from a dusty, wind-swept Southern Hell from Paley) and finds a middle ground between them that is as dark and rustic as it is warm and endearing. It's an unlikely place for both men to come from, but it is surprisingly charming.

As always seems to happen with a new Francis/Black/Thompson release, listeners will be surprised by what they find as “Curse” opens Paley & Francis and reveals a startlingly sweet-sounding ballad, in spite of the song's title and lyric sheet. Here, it's hard for listeners to not feel their hearts melting even though likes like, “Hey I put a curse
on you/ Wait I will get back at you/ Hate is seeping from my skin/ Love made me burst into tears” don't welcome an audience at all” don't welcome them at all, but it isn't the lyrics which are the pull; it's the Ennio Morricone-inspired, train track, clickity-clack movement which catches them and pulls them along for the ride. The same is true
when Paley takes the lead with a blustery baritone (sort of half Lou Reed and half Tom Waits – somehow) to beg forgiveness of a girl from a street corner below her apartment window. With those first two tracks, the album's fate is sealed; the success or failure of it with listeners will depend entirely upon how much enjoyment they take from
an unlikely set of circumstances (most significantly these two particular players meeting at just the right moment in Thompson's current creative arc), and the music those circumstances have yielded. For some listeners, this album will be just precisely the perfect thing to hear and will sit in a place of honor next to Ween's 12 Golden Country Greats as a slice of offbeat genius for years to come but, by the same token, it will be regarded as wishy-washy, weak and tedious by those who wish to be hit with some epic, uniquely “Frank Black” fare.
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seanunyon
- FB Fan -

Canada
64 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2011 :  04:35:02  Show Profile  Visit seanunyon's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The following review ran across Canada on October 16th in the SUNDAY SUN editions of the Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Toronto Sun and Ottawa Sun, as well as the October 14th edition of 24 Hours Vancouver and the October 17th edition of the London Free Press and Sudbury Star:

Paley & Francis
Paley & Francis

One is singer-songwriter Reid Paley. The other is Pixie king Black Francis. They’ve co-written before, but now they’ve gone all the way with an album of offbeat alt-country odes to magic cups, happy shoes and seals. Paley brings his boomy baritone and melodies. Frank offers his idiosyncratic songcraft and yelp. Some Muscle Shoals vets supply the backing. Understatedly freaky.

Download: Deconstructed; Magic Cup

RATING: 3.5 (out of 5)

Edited by - seanunyon on 10/25/2011 04:36:02
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