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Frank Zappa - Lumpy Gravy CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.22 | 461 ratings

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3 stars And now for something completely different...

Frank Zappa's first solo album, Lumpy Gravy, was a departure. The question is from what, with myself of the opinion it is a departure from music to some extent. This is a very short Zappa piece, about thirty minutes long, and is only two songs, though is really just one big sound collage. Spoken word, orchestral, and conventional(?) rock all fit together thanks to Zappa's tireless editing and producing and the overall effect is quite nice.

I must say how I stumbled upon this though. One day, I was at the library and I wanted to get into Frank Zappa, who I had heard so much about. I found that he did a lot of stuff and requested all of it. The first thing to come down the pike was an album entitled We're Only In It For The Money/Lumpy Gravy. I listened to the first album, and it was very cool, I thought. It was several times before I had just one day left the album on after "The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny". First, I heard Zappa talking. And then it just seemed to erupt. It was impenitrible at the time, and would take a while for me to appreciate it. Getting this album did have an effect on me. The slash in the album name made Lumpy Gravy seem like an afterthough to We're Only In It For The Money. I just thought of it as a novelty, or essentially a bonus track, to what I had just heard before it. As I've said, I've grown to appreciate Lumpy Gravy now.

Or have I? It is just really surreally, out there and whatever synonym for weird you would like to put in. As my little anecdote might've proved, this is really one inaccessible album. Even to the jaded RIO/Avant ear, it is rough, and to anyone else, it is the equivalent of walking into a brick wall, a wall of sound. A fun Zappa album, though I recommend it is not your first Zappa experience. Once you've heard his stuff though, it's a good time.

Wait the review's not over. If this was so positive, why three stars? First off, both the 4 and 5 star rating mention prog MUSIC, which I don't think Lumpy Gravy is. Despite the fact it is good, it just isn't always music. There's people musing on many different subjects. Second off, it really is just too odd for it's own good. There's no better way to put that or doll it up, it is just really weird. If you ever need something off the beaten path, the men from Monty Python's Flying Circus summed it up best with the quote I used to kick off this review. Lumpy Gravy sounds so smooth, and leaves you with a funny taste in your mouth. And you like it.

cookieacquired | 3/5 |


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