BN.com Gift Guide

Black Letter Days

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Instead of releasing one sprawling album as he did with Teenager of the Year, this time Frank Black spreads a bounty of songs over two simultaneously released albums, Black Letter Days and The Devil's Workshop; interestingly, his fellow college rock veterans Tom Waits and Paul Westerberg also released two albums at once just a few months earlier in 2002. Black Letter Days, alphabetically the first of the two albums, is also the bigger and more ambitious work. Feeling like a cross between Teenager's length and the rootsy charm of his previous album, Dog in the Sand, Black Letter Days spans galloping ballads like "Chip Away Boy"; stripped-down, rootsy numbers such as "The ...
See more details below
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (2) from $9.97   
  • New (2) from $9.97   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Instead of releasing one sprawling album as he did with Teenager of the Year, this time Frank Black spreads a bounty of songs over two simultaneously released albums, Black Letter Days and The Devil's Workshop; interestingly, his fellow college rock veterans Tom Waits and Paul Westerberg also released two albums at once just a few months earlier in 2002. Black Letter Days, alphabetically the first of the two albums, is also the bigger and more ambitious work. Feeling like a cross between Teenager's length and the rootsy charm of his previous album, Dog in the Sand, Black Letter Days spans galloping ballads like "Chip Away Boy"; stripped-down, rootsy numbers such as "The Farewell Bend"; and appealingly tossed-off songs like "True Blue." Bookended by two versions of Waits' "Black Rider" -- the first a gleefully black-hearted introduction to a twisted cabaret show, the second a campy, crooned finale to it -- the album does feel a bit like a show or a travelogue of stories from the old and new West, such as the cryptically confessional "California Bound," "Cold Heart of Stone," and "End of Miles." These songs, as well as the epic rockers "1826" and "Jane the Queen of Love" prove that while bands like the Stooges and the Violent Femmes may have been his inspiration during the Pixies years, it's the Stones who inform his later work the most, adding a rootsy twang to his rock and a tough but bittersweet edge to his ballads. Though it's too weird to be alt-country and too traditional for some fans of Black's Pixies and early solo work, it's this lush yet rollicking direct-to-two-track sound that's the real standout on Black Letter Days, rather than any one song. At 65 minutes long and 18 tracks strong, the album's very length tends to get in the way of making a connection with any particular track, although there are plenty of enjoyable moments along the way, "Valentine and Garuda," "Southbound Bevy," and "Jet Black River" chief among them. Black Letter Days isn't quite as exciting or focused as Black's best solo work, though that's not entirely surprising since he's releasing so much of it at once. Arguably, some prudent pruning might've made the album great instead of good, but even the album's uneven moments are still pretty enjoyable.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/24/2009
  • Label: Imports
  • UPC: 711297464023
  • Catalog Number: 849150
  • Sales rank: 109,630

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Black Rider (2:37)
  2. 2 California Bound (3:24)
  3. 3 Chip Away Boy (2:57)
  4. 4 Cold Heart of Stone (3:19)
  5. 5 Black Letter Day (3:26)
  6. 6 Valentine and Garuda (3:13)
  7. 7 How You Went So Far (4:05)
  8. 8 End of Miles (3:49)
  9. 9 1826 (6:40)
  10. 10 The Farewell Bend (3:23)
  11. 11 Southbound Bevy (3:07)
  12. 12 I Will Run After You (3:58)
  13. 13 True Blue (1:49)
  14. 14 Jane the Queen of Love (5:10)
  15. 15 Jet Black River (1:51)
  16. 16 21 Reasons (5:40)
  17. 17 Whispering Weeds (3:39)
  18. 18 The Black Rider (3:09)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Frank Black and the Catholics Primary Artist
Frank Black Indexed Contributor, Guitar, Vocals
Eric Drew Feldman Synthesizer, Keyboards, Vocals
Rich Gilbert Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Keyboards, Saxophone, Vocals
Moris Tepper Guitar, Vocals
Nick Vincent Maracas
Dave McCaffrey Bass, Vocals
Scott Boutier Drums, Vocals
Dave Philips Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Tom Waits Composer
Nick Vincent Producer
Robert Vosgien Mastering
Ben Mumphrey Engineer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously