Recorded in the spring of 1991, Trompe Le Monde became the final album recorded by the Pixies. Allegedly inspired by Ozzy Osbourne's presence in a neighbouring studio, this album has a distinctly harder edge than their previous releases, mirroring the growing dissension within the band's membership, while sacrificing none of the band's trademark pop sensibilities. The whole thing is buoyed along by a frantic rhythm; beneath the screaming, distorted guitars and Black Francis' surreal yelpings, one can faintly make out bassist Kim Deal's soothing harmonies and punchy rhythms holding the whole thing together. Lyrically, Black Francis continues to explore his obsession with aliens ("Motorway To Roswell") and the environment ("Distance Equals Rate Times Time"), while still allowing space for an inspired rendition of the Jesus & Mary Chain's "Head On". Although not as immediately accessible as Surfer Rosa or Doolittle, Trompe Le Monde is nevertheless as essential as any of the studio albums by the Pixies--arguably the most influential American indie band ever. Soon after this release, Black Francis began his solo career as Frank Black, while Kim Deal found success in the Breeders. --Robert Burrow
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