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Frank Zappa - Studio Tan CD (album) cover

STUDIO TAN

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.70 | 183 ratings

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Indiciplinary
4 stars What makes "Studio Tan" better than "Lather"? Precisely jack. It is necessary for completists, but those of us who aren't Earth-shatteringly Zappaphilic would prefer this to "Lather"'s behomoth size because it's cheaper, and a quicker fix.

"Greggary Peccary" is funny as hell and, while a little long for some, is thouroughly enjoyable if you have the patience. If you're any kind of a Zappa fan, though, you do. It's not as musical as later tracks, but it's enough to keep you busy. It's sort of like a more badass Lumpy Gravy with some real comedy. Experimentalism with voice stuff and weird sounds abounds. Again, you need patience for this. The best opening track on any album (Second goes to Close to the Edge, and third to When the Generals Talk (?!) - or, if this is just about prog, substitute Shine On... I-V.) ever.

"Lemme Take You to the Beach" is a little pop ditty that... well, it's a parody of that hippie crap which, somehow, had survived. I guess Zappa's hard-assed, booze 'n' nookie songs didn't change how music was written, though it opened windows... oh, who cares? It's Zappa, and it's funny, what else do you need?

The other two are instrumentals; "RDNZL" is upbeat, "...Low-Budget Orchestra" is downbeat... but it's orchestral, so that's not typically as uplifting. "RDNZL" is pure madness, and fun madness at that. Wholly satisfying. "...Low-Budget Orchestra" is truly beautiful, a centerpiece of the album. Of course, with Zappa at the helm, full beauty is saboaged enough to garner a few points for just plain ol' Zappaness, just how I like my music. Check it out.

"Studio Tan"'s best attribute over "Lather" is the size and order. Good for non-Zappaphiles, necessary for completists because of the ever-so-slightly re-mixed Greggary Peccary. However, it's not perfect enough to get five stars.

82% -> 4 stars.

Indiciplinary | 4/5 |

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