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Frank Zappa - Chunga's Revenge CD (album) cover

CHUNGA'S REVENGE

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.39 | 231 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars To say that you don't like Frank Zappa is like saying you don't like food. There are thousands, millions of dishes to eat (or try) world wide and there are a plethora of musical styles to discover when it comes to Zappa. Never standing still too long on the same spot, ever moving, ever progressing. With that said, I need to point out that not all Zappa, as with food, is to your taste or personal preference. However, I am of the most certain mind when saying that anyone into prog is able to find at least one album to love and enjoy. That is the case for me. I cannot claim to love all of Zappas enormous production. I cannot even claim to love half of it. I care for only a fragment of all these albums on the market.The best of these fragments is the underrated (in my opinion) Chunga's revenge.

Funnily enough, this album was the first I bought. When I decided to explore Zappa back in the 1990's I decided upon this one. I knew there were other albums proclaimed to be his masterworks but I chanced on this one, giggling at the cover and that odd title. I could not have picked a better album to start off with at that particular time and Chunga's revenge is still my favorite, both by musical standards aswell as nostalgic reasons.

It must be said, that Chunga's revenge probably is one of Zappas most accessible albums. There are very few hard nuts to crack. It is, basically, a collection of great semi-progressive tunes leaning towards an array of styles. Anything from jazz and eastern moods to ballads and hard rock. Though being a highly varied album it never looses the focus and the result is a very tight and cohesive record. It has some loose and laidback grooves, reminding me of the late 1960's jamming found on many an album. It is inspired and groovy, played with a lot of joy and love of music.

I think that the best songs are the eastern flavored "Transylvania boogie", the hard rock of "Tell me you love me" and the concluding "Sharleena". The tracks in between are very enjoyable as well and provides a wonderful template of moods and styles. This album proves that Zappa really could take a bite off of anything and create the most extraordinary music.

One often reads about the guitar of Frank Zappa and on Chunga's revenge it is ever so wonderful. He manages to be both masterful and raucious, a combination not always found in guitar wizards.

All in all, Chunga's revenge is a wonderful rock album with progressive leanings. It is not overly complex. Instead it is a collection of quite easily digestable and enjoyable songs with great variation. It is still my favorite and if you want to find a starting point where the humour, irony and craziness is a bit subdued in favor of musical seriousness (without being boring, naturally) this might be a good place to start.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |

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