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Frank Zappa - The Mothers of Invention: We're Only in It for the Money CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.12 | 727 ratings

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Thai Divone
5 stars A full blown attack on our ears and minds. I don't think that there is any other way to describe this work of genius. From the moment it starts, till it's end less than 40 minutes later, this album doesn't slow its pace, downplay its satire or let us stray away from it. It was shocking in the 60s, when it was first released, and it is still shocking today.

Some SFX lead us to the voice of Eric Clapton, asking a girl if she's hung up. Then we hear the technician talking about erasing all the masters, before we get Jimmy Carl Black talking about being the Indian of the group. It's hard to call this track a song, but? It does lay the ground for the things to come.

Who Needs the Peace Corps is where our journey really begins. We follow a hippie, or should we say a generic hippie. He drops out, goes to San Francisco, and buys a wig. The song is quick-paced, and has a great rhythm. The guitar part is great. The style of the song, though, is classic, is normal. But the words are so satirical and brilliant. On third listen and onwards, one starts to identify even more layers in this "simple" song, showing yet again the genius of Zappa. "I will love the police as they kick the shit out of me on the street".

Then we cut to the Concentration Moon, a slow paced song, lamenting about the freedom lost when one is in the jail. 37 seconds and the pace pick up, and it's a different beast. A hippie dies. The technician and JCB again, and we're back to the slow pace of the beginning. The US is afraid of us, the hippie says before dying.

Then Zappa sings for the parents, who stay for themselves, busy with their jobs, straying away from their children, letting them roam free and kill themselves. Then we get a short phone call, showing us the fear from one's dad, before getting to the next song- Bow Tie Daddy- a happy song about a beating dad.

Then a nice piano leads us to an almost Kinks's like song, or maybe just a Who's song, about the phony-ness of the hippie movement, and then some famous Zappa's SFX, still kept to a minimum.

What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body is another masterpiece, combining three complete songs into a single minute. Some short keyboard riff, then two lines said by Suzy and then Franki Zappa before the song begins, letting us experience the feeling of being on drugs. Or at least, letting us feel like seeing it from the side. It always reminds me a bit of Hendrix combined with the Beatles, but I think that it's just me. The song is yet again a quick travel between so many different musical styles, like a trip around the music industry in 3 minutes and a half.

Anyways, then comes Flower Punk which is a parody of Hendrix's Hey Joe, attacking the music industry and the hippies alike. It's quick and sounds almost like a kid's show taken to the extreme, only with some dirty lyrics and strange musical style. Around the 1:30 mark Zappa breaks loose, and the attack renounces. Screams, voices, SFX, high voices moving way to fast, and Zappa saying completely different things from each side of the sound- system. It's a cacophony, but a way too funny one to be taken seriously, much like the psychedelic music of the time.

Hot Poop is like the opening track, moving in 3 times speed. The second side was opened, and what a side it is. It sounds like all those things that Zappa kept at bay? Well, now they've got their opportunity to go out, enjoy themselves, be free for the first time in forever.

Let's Make the Water Turn Black sounds like a combination of the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, on steroids, with lyrics devoid of any inherent beauty. Zappa screams of their phony-ness. The Idiot Bastard Son continues the line the earlier song started, telling us yet another story before being cut short by the people listening.

Lonely Little Girl is a lament about a deserted girl, for whom her parents don't really care. It goes from being sad to being happy, and then all the way back, traveling through earlier songs, and going KABOOM in the middle. It even gets middle-eastern for a few seconds. And all this attack on the hippies? It all culminates in Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance. Then a reprise for What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body, taken on even greater steroids, before getting to Mother People which is a peculiar and very strange little gem. Here Zappa asks us questions, and throws some nasty words on us, in an almost way too na´ve presentation. And after that? We're closing with The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny which sounds something like an avant-garde piece from 1940's Paris, combined with some nasty horror-soundtrack elements and then taken to the extreme. I can't really describe it, but I don't think that I should. It is a track one has to listen to for herself/himself.

And then we're left with a void, alone in the dark, staring at the record, and starting this musical journey all over again. Because the album doesn't end on first listen, nor does it end in the 30th. It just needs more and more time, growing better with each listen, amazing us again and again. So yeah, I don't think that I can give this album any less than 5 stars. It is essential not only for the Prog Fun, or for the historian` it's not essential only for the music lover or for the literature-student. It is one of those records that one just needs to have, to hold dear and true. This record? This one is one of those unique experiences. It just needs a listen. And then a bit more?

Thai Divone | 5/5 |


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