on 31 August 2005
It beats me why Doolittle, an album of such ferocious intensity and top-quality songwriting is always forgotten in those ubiquitous "Top 100 Album" lists run by any number of websites. Quite frankly it is the greatest alt-rock album ever created, crammed full of powerful rock songs and gentler melodies. Black Francis's voice - primal and terrifying on songs such as "Tame" and gentle and welcoming on "Wave Of Mutilation" - duels with Joey Santiago's angular guitar lines to great effect, creating a totally unique sound. Pixies are one of those bands who have no discernable influences. They sound like nothing else you will have heard, but for this review's sake I'll try to make some comparisons. The quiet/loud dynamic they pioneered really makes itself known here, turning "Gouge Away" from a quiet, sinister whisper into a massively loud roar of anger and making "Tame" one of the most unsettling songs yet recorded.
Any die-hard Pixies fan will already have this in their collection, but for anyone looking to get into this amazing band, "Doolittle" is a great place to start. It has the combination of poppy melody ("La La Love You", "Here Comes Your Man"), indie guitar anthems ("Debaser", "Wave Of Mutilation") and freaky scream-alongs ("Tame", "Crackity Jones") that will ease you gently into the world of the Pixies without scaring you off. You might not like some songs at first but give it time and within a couple of months you'll be utterly addicted.
on 31 January 2008
This is one of the best albums ever made, one of those rare albums where every track is killer, one of those rare albums where you think how the hell can an artist record perfection like this. I cannot recommend this enough. This isn't just a 5 star album it is musical genius. Fact. If you want to buy a Pixies album, this is the one. If you want to buy an alternative rock album this is the one. Infact, if you are a serious fan of music then this should already be in your collection. The likes of Nirvana's Nevermind and other so called masterpieces of this genre cannot hold a candle to Pixies Dolittle.
on 2 March 2004
sometimes its the originals that are forgotten. the bands who created the scene only to leave it for other immitators. (stone roses pathing the way for oasis)
The Pixies were undeniably classic. Their punk/grunge/rock genre spawned many rip-offs. Kurt Cobain even admitted he copied the quiet loud dynamics of the pixies. sadly it was Nirvana who undeserevedly got all the aclaim and credit.
But they and many others never came close to matching the pixies. Doolittle is easily their best album. A must for any music fan, espically those who like heavy yet melodic tunes. The pixies formula was simple. Screeching/agonising singing over memorable riffs and choruses.
Take Debaser for example. The repeated barred chords with Black screaming (elegently though and with dignity) is brilliant. simple but so effective. Here comes your man is another classic. The riff is infectious and it is a warm and touching song.
The list goes on for great songs on this album. If you haven't already got this buy it and see what you are missing out on.
on 22 December 1999
Ten years on and its hard too believe this album is as fresh and as powerful as it was the first time I heard it. From Black Francis hysterical vocals on Debaser through to the bass driven Gouge away, the album simply never falters.Here comes your man and Monkey gone to heaven wander towards the mainstream without losing the albums plot, but the overall feel of the album is still one of awesome originality. It says a lot that some advertising exec somewhere looking for a suitably manic track to push an "out of the ordinary" Vodka promo on the telly, didn't look to the modern crop of Rock mediocrities, but instead picked "Tame", a track penned some ten years ago by a band who for the brief period in the eighties and nineties set some pretty incredible, and still, unparalleled standards. Death to the Pixies indeed.
on 11 July 2016
After knowing of the Pixies for many years I've never really listened to their music properly. I obviously, as a lot of people, heard the song Where is my Mind?'on the Fight Club film and from there I bought the Wave of Mutilation best of CD and really loved a huge majority of the songs on it. Now I have purchased Doolittle and also Surfa Rosa.
Doolittle is an amazing sounding album, which is one of the things I love about the Pixies, it's just got a sound unlike any other band out there. They are fantastically raw and all of the instruments are just sublime to listen to! The songs all run in a similar vain sound wise (not a bad thing by the way!) yet sound extremely individual which is another thing that is attracting me to them so much!
I really recommend this band and this album. If I could describe this album and them in one word it would be 'Flawless'.
on 9 October 2007
It is nice these days to see Pixies getting the wider recognition for the impact they had in bringing underground rock to the mainstream, but the most important point about the band is that their music still sounds absolutely brilliant.
`Doolittle' is Pixies best regarded and most famous album and rightly so. Fifteen tracks of thrilling surf-pop-punk fly by in just under 40 minutes, delivered in the band's unique style. Black Francis's vocals range from yelps, gibbers, cackles, croons and downright screams as he delivers his gleefully manic schlock-horror lyrics; Joey Santiago's dazzling lead guitar whines, snarls and crackles with energy; Kim Deal's tight bass is high in the mix and her laconic backing vocals also provide the perfect foil to Francis's mentalism and David Lovering's ferociously tight drumming drives everything on at an incredible pace.
It is not an exaggeration to say that all the tracks are great, but personal highlights are the howling blast of `Tame' which steps into the glorious `Wave of Mutilation' in a heartbeat; also "Here Comes Your Man's' twangy pop; the demented eco-fable `Monkey Gone to Heaven' and the stunning opening and closing tracks `Debaser and `Gouge Away'.
The famous quiet/loud dynamic that Nirvana cheerfully confessed to trying to replicate with `Teen Spirit' pervades the whole record and gives it its power and energy, but ultimately a pop heart (albeit a mental one) beats strong in the wonderful `Doolittle', surly one of the best rock albums of the last 20 years.
on 13 January 2002
The Pixies had energy and invention that most other bands of the past 20 years can only dream of. They made records with the straight 2 guitars, bass and drums setup that sound unlike any other. For the occasional truly great band that bring something new and fresh, a sound unlike any that came before where you can't add all the influences together and see who they're copying, there are a dozen or more flacid immitators. Several bands of the 90's built their career on imitating the Pixies et al, and doing it badly. What the Beatles, Stones and Velvet Underground were to those that came after, the Pixies are to the 90's and beyond. Only the other great Boston band of the 80's, Throwing Muses, and more recently the Afghan Whigs can bear comparison.
"Doolittle" then, probably the most scathing and wildly ragged rock record of any decade. Sure there are mellow moments, and they're probably the low points on what is nevertheless an always great record. From the opening Debaser, with its' ferocious and insane vocal over skin peeling guitars, to the closing anger and fire of Gouge Away, there's no pause for breath or mediocrity. Filler? Ha!
Inbetween there are a half dozen gems. Tame, I Bleed, Mr. Grieves, No. 13 Baby fall into the short-sharp-shock of guitars blazing out wonderfully off-kilter rhythms and melody over big Black Francis' mad searing and unique vocal "delivery", with Kim Deal's sweet backing vocals and harmonies wrapping around the wall of sound. You can almost hear them grining behind the music, demonic smiles knowing they're onto something special. You'll never hear anything like it.
For all the fire and razors, there are softer moments like Key, Here Comes Your Man and La La Love You. Key is maybe the standout track with its devotedly manic duet. Indeed, there's such great energy between Francis and Deal that drives the record along at a bullet's pace. One gets the feeling they're really playing for each other, not the record or the listener, and completely in love with what they're doing.
With all the great signpost records of the past 20 years, you can usually name-check a couple of obvious reference points. With the Pixies though, this is near impossible. What makes a band special is its' ability to make records that sound distinctly their own. Using the straight 2-guitars, bass and drums combination, they still came up with 4 albums that were Pixies and nothing else. If you had to look for influences, there's some Velvet Underground in there in the sweet melodies and vocals and some Husker Du for those searing guitars and the rage of Black Francis. Even then, it all comes out of the mix sounding like nothing ever released before. The essential all-out rock band of the 1980's, the equal of anything that preceeded them, the Daddy of virtually everything that they spawned.
While the UK scene blossomed with the Manic Street Preachers and Radiohead (among a host of others), since the Pixies split in the early 90's, the US music scene has been sadly lacking, rolling around in its' own image. While Nirvana took the mantle with their brand of bland verse-chorus-verse-chorus fashion setting, the Smashing Pumpkins gave a taste of could-of-been-great before time-travelling up their own inner space, all before the awful immitative adolescent dirge that followed from Green Day and Offspring, few bands came out of the States with anything approaching the heights of Black Francis and co. One has to dig deep to find the cream atop the sour milk. Only Kristin Hersh and her Throwing Muses, The Flaming Lips and perhaps The Afghan Whigs with their own masterpiece, "Gentlemen", have come close to the energy, passion and creative originality of the Pixies. There have been great records, sure, but few if any great bands. There's little hope that the Stooges-I-Mean-Strokes can fill that hole.
While Surfer Rosa, Come On Pilgrim and the under-rated Bossanova are classics on their own terms, this remains the pinacle achievement of 4 people at the peak of their powers. An inventive guitarist like no other in Joey Santiago, the great rolling bass and sweet vocals of Kim Deal, the machinegun drumming of David Lovering and the one-off manic scorching vocals of Black Francis. The Pixies. Rock Music.
on 26 July 2004
First off, if you are reading this review to decide whether or not to buy this album - Buy it, please! You will never look back. Doolittle is a true masterpiece.
I was first introduced to the band The Pixies after hearing 'Where is my mind' a superb song from 'Surfer Rosa' on the soundtrack to the 'fight club' movie. From there I was completely hooked.
Doolittle is the first album I listened to in its entirety by The Pixies and it would certainly not be the last. From the unforgettable bassline of 'Here comes your man' to the demented 'Dead' and 'Tame' to the equally brilliant and unusually beautiful 'Hey'. This album has it all, it is utterly faultless. I find it bizzare that many songs on the album convey such emotion, dark & twisted or heartfelt alike, considering the unexpected subject matter eg. 'Hey' is about fucking.
And when you really get into the album, read the lyics - very unusual stuff indeed - Bible stories, French B-Movies, Tatooed tits, Masicism, the lot! Although an unfortunate absense of Black's UFO-orientated mateial - another of his bizzare fixations!
All in all, i have to say this is my favourite album of all time and I'd bet bet my bottom dollar there are coutless others who would agree going on the other glowing reviews that you will find here and for that matter anywhere else on Doolittle. Without the Pixies, our Planet of Sound as we know it would be a very different place. Surfer Guitars, Catchy as hell Riffs, Wooping, Howling, Pop Weirdness and just genuine, genuine inivatite thinking and practice has propelled the Pixies as well as alternative rock as a collective into the stratosphere and produced so many new figues in the last decade. Basically, buy Doolittle!
5 Stars. Enjoy.
on 22 May 2005
About a year ago the only Pixies songs I was familiar with were 'Here Comes Your Man', 'Velouria' and 'This Monkey's Gone To Heaven', and being a Nirvana fan and knowing Kurt Cobain had rated their music so highly, I was prompted to buy the 'Wave of Mutilation' album (a best of CD) and see for myself. I loved what I heard and within hearing this album a couple of times I went out and bought all their records in one hit.
It was probably the most greatest music discovery I'll ever make. Their songs are just so consistently good and what makes the Pixies so special is their originality and diversity.
I was going to go on about the songs on this album and how fantastic this CD sounds but I, nor anybody else, would be able to do it enough justice so I'll just say BUY IT NOW because your record collection is mightily flawed without it.
on 26 February 2006
There are many that would claim that this the best album/record/CD EVER!!!! I'm not so sure, but Doolittle does bring me back, time after time, to a gloriously repeatable pinnacle of rock music. I've owned this album since it was released in 1989 and, quite simply, it is a timeless masterpiece. Whilst the Pixies may not have the cachet of some other 'bigger' or more mainstream artists, this seminal piece of work from them is overlooked at your own peril. If you've heard of them, you don't need to read this; if you haven't or are not sure then just buy it. The best rock album ever? Possibly. The best Pixies album, definitely - and that's very good indeed!