Ben’s Brilliant Best Albums of the 1990s. No. 90. The Pixies – Trompe le Monde

If you had asked me in 2001 to compile a top hundred albums of the 1990s (and why would you have? I don’t know. It’s not like anyone is asking me now, is it? I just do stuff. Anyway…) I would probably have two Pixies albums in my top twenty.

Now… well… here we are at No. 90.

I have a sort-of odd relationship with The Pixies (or rather, their music, I don’t know them personally, obvs). They were one of the handful of bands that most excited me in my late teens and twenties but, perhaps because I loved them so intensely then, my heart has grown cold toward a lot of their stuff. It’s not them, it’s me. Actually, it is probably both of us. The stuff they have released in the last few years, since they got back together, does absolutely nothing for me. Actually, it’s probably just them. There. I said it. No. It’s probably just me.

I don’t suppose it matters.

I still love a few tracks off each album, usually the less shouty ones. Catch me in the right mood and I’ll agree they were always amazing. Catch me in the wrong mood and I can’t even listen to them.

Man, I’m really selling this album, aren’t I? Sorry, The Pixies.

Bossanova is probably the more consistent album, and there are one or two tracks on it that I actively dislike but, when it gets all gentle and sci-fi, Trompe le Monde is a bloody marvel. Motorway to Roswell in particular is lovely, the universal shoutiness of the band’s sound scaled down to what feels like genuine emotion, personal and strange. The Pixies music was always at its best when it connected with the heart as well as the head, when it stopped mining David Lynch imagery for shocks, when it calmed down. Trompe le Monde is an album of moments, but they are great moments.