Similar but better than the Breeders and Cracker. More clever than Cake. More versatile than The Strokes. Black Francis sports a voice which ranges from Ray Davies of The Kinks to Morrissey and beyond. The band has some of the raw energy of Iggy Pop, the defiance of Richard Hell and as much angst as anyone else in the punk scene from the 70's to now. This band rocks. 'I Bleed' pretty much does in the late 80's what most of today's alt-pop/rock groups are now passing off as new. The only questionable thing about the group perhaps is that they don't really bring it sonically. Their recordings always seem to sound a little light, or far away. This is probably more to do with their studio and producers than anything to do with the band's actual playing. And one could argue that this is simply "their sound" and all on-purpose, for the best, the way it should be, who the fuck am i, fuck me, etc etc.
Most of these tracks are from Doolittle but Surfa Rosa is also great. I head Bossanova might be overproduced, but that could just be the usual sour grapes from the initial fan base (primary-fan-grapes).