Trompe Le Monde
There aren’t any individual songs on Trompe Le Monde as strong as ‘Debaser’ or ‘River Euphrates’, but Trompe Le Monde is the best Pixies album because it’s relentlessly good. The tracks all segue into each other, maintaining a fast pace, while someone scrambles up the styles so that the album skitters unpredictably from simple rockers to pretty ballads. Trompe Le Monde is loud and abrasive, while Kim Deal is again pushed into the background. Deal’s virtual absence leaves room for Santiago to spray his unpredictable lead guitar parts all over the place, and he’s constantly able to invigorate the album with his catchy aggressiveness. The solo in ‘Space (I Believe In)’ is brilliant in its laughable simplicity, while the conclusion of ‘U-Mass’ collapses under with a chaotic explosion of guitars. Like Bossanova, many of the songs are based on geeky science fiction themes; ‘Motorway’ to Roswell’ tells the story of the rumoured alien landings while ‘Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons’ describes a lunar landscape. My favourite track is the catchily brain dead ‘U-Mass’ (a salute to Francis’ old university), while the absurd lyrics are back in ‘Space (I Believe In)’, with Francis dedicating half the words to his observation that the session keyboard player (Jefrey) only spells his name with one f. Trompe Le Monde is a great swansong for a great band.