After the abrasiveness of Surfer Rosa, Doolittle is surprisingly poppy, with a cleaner production from Gil Norton. Since it’s the Pixies, Doolittle is still strange and skewed, but it’s more consistent than Surfer Rosa, even though the good second half isn’t able to measure up to the almost flawless first side. Kim Deal is all over the record with lots of smooth energetic vocal parts that counterbalance Francis’ inspired screaming, while Lovering gets a rare moment in centre stage with a crooning lead vocal in the either ultra-sincere or ultra-ironic ‘La La Love You’.
Doolittle gets off to a wonderful start with the nasty ‘Debaser’, complete with a set of ridiculous lyrics: “But I am un chien andalusia.” The next six songs maintain this high standard impeccably, with wonderfully skewed pop/rockers, the peppy mellowness of ‘Here Comes Your Man’, and the memorable ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’ with a lovely string section and a unforgettable bridge. The second half drags a little, but Doolittle ends on a higher note with the country flavoured Deal fronted ‘Silver’ and ‘Gouge Away’, a song that Kurt Cobain claims inspired much of Nirvana’s output.
While Doolittle isn’t quite a flawless masterpiece, the Pixies’ zaniness is endearing as ever, although the were yet to create their ultimate masterpiece.