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Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.86 | 459 ratings

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Chris H
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Ahhh, another good old Frank Zappa album for me to review, and what an album this is! Although I say that every Zappa album could be my favorite of all time, this is definitely up high on the list. From FZ's masterful guitar works to Belew's soulful singing to Bozzio's fierce yelps and howls, this album just reeks of greatness. But enough about the album, here is my song-to-song review. (LP format!)

Side 1: The whole album is started by "I Have Been in You", which is Zappa's take on a ballad. Don't get me wrong, it's not about true love, its more about intimate things. Zappa actually can get his voice nice-enough for a ballad, but Belew handles more of the higher stuff. A nice track, as some traces of FZ's guitar can be caught halfway through the song when he brings a solo to the table. "Flakes" is the next song, and it is quite an interesting piece as it switches melodies about 3 times during the near 7 minutes the song runs for. The beginning has some nice vocal progressions, but the ending is much better, as FZ slashes away again and makes my day brighter. "Broken Hearts Are For Assholes" is a track that has shared vocals between Zappa, Terry Bozzio, and Patrick O'Hearn. It opens wildly, with Bozzio screaming and yelping, but then calms down as Zappa takes the microphone. But not for long, because Bozzio comes back and Zappa unleashes some heavy riffs. This is truly an awesome song! "I'm So Cute" ends this side, and it is the best example of Terry Bozzio's preferred style of singing there is. He screams, shouts and growls through this whole number about how cute he is, but somehow he turns it into a really good song.

Side 2: The second side starts off with "Jones Crusher", a 2 minute track that features Adrian Belew as the lead vocalist. Some nice guitar work, and the lyrics make me laugh every time. "What Ever Happened To All The Fun In The World" is just a half-minute comedic interruption that neither adds or takes anything away from the overall album. "Rat Tomago" is an excellent instrumental piece that was recorded at the Deutschland Halle in Berlin. Excellent guitar work again, this is one of the best jams I have heard in a long time. "We've Got To Get Into Something Real" is another half- minute comedy piece that has no meaning, just substance. "Bobby Brown" is one of the most vile and criminally disturbing songs I think i have ever heard, but somehow this song managed to be one of my guilty pleasures. look past the 'rated R' lyrics and you will find some awesome instrumental work. "Rubber T-Shirt" is centered around a Patrick O'Hearn bassline taken to the limit. The second of three instrumentals on this side, it brings a little extra musicianship to the table than the normal FZ soloing. "The Sheik Yerbouti Tango" ends this side of the album, and it is a continuation on "Rubber T-Shirt" with a more accessible melody and less hard-edged bass.

Slide 3: The third side beings with the weird "Baby Snakes". FZ's guitar shines brightly here, as it keeps the song in balance with its heavy riffs as the song title is sung in a weird high-pitched voice alteration. Bozzio's voice breaks right out as the next track, "Tryin' To Grow A Chin" comes out with no rest in-between. The lyrics are the highlight of this track, as the chorus (I wanna be dead, in bed, please kill me, cause that would thrill me) is one the most recognized choruses in rock history. "City Of Tiny Lights" is another Belew sung track. While I think his vocals are a little strained here, it still brings a nice element of change to this side while the sound effects go nuts in the background. FZ comes in with an amazing solo halfway through and it is truly shocking to hear such an amazing solo in this song because the mood is rather down before the solo starts. "Dancin' Fool" starts with FZ's fast singing voice, then kicks into a chorus filled with percussion and nothing else besides a nice beat by Bozzio. "Jewish Princess" opens up with a kazoo improv of traditional Jewish music, but then gets really dirty from there. Dubbed one of the dirtiest love songs of all time, this is a song that resembles "Bobby Brown" but lacks the musicianship. Worst song on the whole album, but still tolerable.

Side 4: The shortest side of the album, side four only contains two songs, "Wild Love" and "Yo Mama". "Wild Love" starts off, and is the third sick and wrong song on this album, but once again it still remains a good song! "Yo Mama", at 12:38 long, is the best track on the album so it is only fitting it closes it. It opens up with a flurry of percussions but then mellows out for a few verses. FZ gets the guitar out plays a very heavy-yet- beautiful solo that reminds me of "Watermelon In Easter Hay" off of the 'Guitar' album.

So, as you can tell by my rave review, I am completely in love with this album. Virtually every song is a masterpiece (with the exception of "Jewish Princess" and "City Of Tiny Lights") and the album as a whole is of unholy greatness. No less than 5 stars is appropriate!

Chris H | 5/5 |


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