Pixies – Trompe le Monde: #431 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Pixies - Trompe le Monde

So why is Pixies’ Trompe le Monde on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Trompe le Monde is replete with strange pleasures. It contains relatively few of my all-time favorite Pixies songs, and yet it’s a consistently enjoyable journey and listen from end to end.

One of my most favorite drum fills of all time comes precisely three seconds into “U-Mass.” Before the drum fill, we get an iconic guitar riff from Frank Black, and then the riff ends and the spotlight is on the drums alone. I literally can’t get enough of the three drum notes that come next:


And then we’re off to the races on one of the Pixies’ best (more or less) straight ahead rockers.

As ever with Frank Black and the Pixies, the lyrics are weirdo and evocative and cryptic, but since I and we are free to interpret lyrics and music as we like, I always absorb “U-Mass” as a super fun college song.

Here’s a fairly different version of “U-Mass” from a live performance at The Paradise in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Distance Equals Rate Times Time,” a song title that is perhaps a spiritual predecessor to Frank Black’s later song called “(I Want to Live on an) Abstract Plain” (which also happens to be one of my most favorite songs in any dimension), is precisely the brand of punk rock-meets-alt rock that turns me on most: a minute and a half that pushes the pedal down in the form of a sweet and crunchy guitar riff and then gets out. And of course we get a nice dose of Black and crew’s wailing and dissonant sounds as well.

The title track, “Trompe le Monde,” sounds like it would have fit in perfectly well on Frank Black’s first two solo records (Frank Black from 1993, and Teenager of the Year from 1994), eclectic collections of punk rock. In other words, it’s pretty incredible.

The strange journey of Trompe le Monde ends on the perfect note, with “The Navajo Know.” It’s an intriguing and odd mid-tempo deep cut, with a great melodic bass line put down by Kim Deal.

Some stats & info about Pixies – Trompe le Monde

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Alternative Rock, College Rock, Boston Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Trompe le Monde released? 1991
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #431 out of 1,000

Pixies’ Trompe le Monde on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Pixies’ Trompe le Monde that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

It’s educational.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.