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The Purbalite

The student news site of Baldwin High School

The Purbalite

The student news site of Baldwin High School

The Purbalite

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Your donation will support the student journalists of Baldwin High School. Your contribution will allow us to fund our newspaper and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Essential Listening: The Pixies paved the way for Nirvana

Photo+via+4AD+Records
Photo via 4AD Records

Tired of your Spotify playlists? The Purbalite is here to help with our Essential Listening series.

Released in 1989, Doolittle by the Pixies is one of the most influential and greatest alternative rock albums of all time, influencing musicians such as Kurt Cobain and Thom Yorke.

The album was an instant hit, especially in Europe, and it was the Pixies’ breakthrough album.

The dark lyrics, inspired by a variety of topics such as numerology, surrealist film, death, and the Bible, combined with the catchy, aggressive instrumentation creates a distinctive style that has been copied many times by other alternative rock musicians. Both “Tame” and “Gouge Away” helped inspire Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” 

The “quiet/loud” formula on many of their songs is unique. While most pop at the time and today is mostly the same volume throughout, many of the tracks on this album drastically change volume multiple times.

The opening track, “Debaser,” references the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou by filmmaker Luis Buñuel and painter Salvador Dalí throughout with catchy yet violent lyrics that weave an interesting song.

“Monkey Gone to Heaven” uses numerology and mythical beings to tell a story of environmental devastation and climate change. The song has cellos and violins added in, which makes it unique among other tracks on the album.

Based on the biblical story of Sampson’s betrayal by Delilah, “Gouge Away” slowly builds up to a great conclusion to the album. The “quiet/loud” progression is a lot more gradual on this song, but it is still one of the most intriguing songs on Doolittle.

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About the Contributor
Lucas Ovitsky
Lucas Ovitsky, Staff Writer
Sophomore Lucas Ovitsky is a first year Staff Writer. He can be found playing trumpet or listening to music.
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