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Naked City - Grand Guignol CD (album) cover


Naked City



4.23 | 41 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Avant-grind jazz.

That's my best attempt at describing this mammoth of an album in 3 words, a creative force that's almost too weird to describe. Most of the singing comes in the form of incoherent babbling (tracks 9-41 do not contain any words for singing), a trait I showed much disdain to in listening to Tago Mago. However, I don't see how this bizarre form of expression could be done in many other ways here. The music is so off the wall that it fits.

This is no ordinary prog record. Then again most avant-RIO styled material never is. The opener is the longest and "most normal" track. It's an epic in terms of length, but stylistically there is little connection from one movement to the next, as with most of the album, it is very free-forming, allowing the mood of the musicians to change the pace or course of the music. There's so many references to different cultures or ideas that to list them is a bit ridiculous. Chances are, in one way or another, you will be peculiarly familiar with some of this material.

To compare this to other Zorn material is well, difficult given the scope of his discography and my admittedly limited knowledge of his music aside from Naked City and a few other albums. I do know that those looking for an intellectual and artistic challenge, Grand Guignol will give you all of this and much more. Any fan of the style of Kayo Dot, Lark's Tongue King Crimson, and various adaptations of metal will surely enjoy this. Highly recommended.

OpethGuitarist | 4/5 |


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