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Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage, Acts II & III CD (album) cover

JOE'S GARAGE, ACTS II & III

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.98 | 439 ratings

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A_Flower
5 stars The story continues...

Act II starts with A Token of My Extreme. Joe goes to a new church called "The first church of applientology." This is making fun of new religions. In this religion, they believe humans should have sexual relations with appliances. The spiritual leader tells Joe he needs to learn German and find an appliance in a club called "The Closet." The song is very psychedelic sounding and has a lot of cool melodies. The mystical advisers voice has a special effect that makes him sound like a God. A funny and cool song!

Stick it Out is the next song. In this, Joe is falling in love with an appliance. The song starts in German but the melodies are so catchy and it's fun to sing along to (at least in German). The appliance, whose name is Sy Borg, yells to Joe "Pick me! I'm clean!" Joe then sings the song in German which, you then find, has pretty crude lyrics. The end of the song makes reference to Sheik Yerbouti with "What's a girl like you doing in a place like this..." Joe and Sy Borg then leave to have some fun.

Then we have probably the weirdest song on the album "Sy Borg". Joe sings a love song for Sy Borg set to a reggae beat simular to that in Lucille. This song though has more synthesizers which makes it more progressive. It's weird when Sy Borg speaks in it's robot voice to Joe. Sy Borg also shares with a Joe a modified gay Bob doll. However, in the end, Joe accidentally kills Sy Borg. The Central Scrutinized immediately arrives in the present tense and places Joe under arrest.

I love the very beginning of Dong Work for Yuda, where the Central Scrutinized whispers "Hello there..." but that's really the only good thing about this track. This is the weakest one. Joe goes to prison and meets Bald Headed John, who speaks a lot through this song. Prisoners at this prison do oral sex and Joe must avoid this as much as possible.

Keep it Greasy continues the same plot as Yuda, but this is one of the best songs on the album. It is long and intense. The middle has a cool section where after ever line in the song is a weird sound effect or vocal, the last one is an awesome and extended one. You think after this is the end because if slows down, but no! It's a false ending. Because the last five minutes are guitar playing. The guitar is outstanding, but we also have keyboard occasionally heard distantly. And the best part is the bass line. It is the quintessential bass line of prog rock showing off. This song is a prog rock masterpiece!

But it gets even better with Outside Now. The bass line in Keep it Greasy slows down and the album becomes more atmospheric. Joe starts singing about how awful life in prison is. He starts playing an imaginary guitar wishing his inmates could hear him. The song repeats "I can't wait to see what it's like on the outside now" and the ending is a guitar solo. It is progressive and so perfect in every way.

Act III starts with He Used to Cut the Grass. Joe is released from prison, but The Central Scrutinizer had taken over the world. Music had become illegal. Joe starts playing his imaginary guitar. In the end, you can hear the neighbors complaining like the how the album started with "He used to cut my grass he was a very nice boy."

The Central Scrutinizer tells us that Joe was going so crazy that he was writing imaginary songs that were being reviewed by imaginary critics! This is an excuse Zappa uses on the album to have the next song be about his own thoughts on critics. And let's just say it's a strong track. "Packard Goose". It starts kind of happy sounding with an almost marimba xylophone. Then it turns into an angry track with many changes. After about three minutes the song changes tempo and gets quiet with the sounds of triangles and bells. In this section, Joe's ex-girlfriend Mary returns and gives philosophy on how love is not music, and music is the best. Suddenly the song picks up and goes into the wildest guitar/drum solo ever. It's so intense it can occasionally be a bit hard to listen to-but that makes the song better! The ending first reprises the start but then becomes very marimba like and really weird. It fades out, leaving you confused (this is a compliment towards the track).

The story comes to an end at Watermelon in Easter Hay. Joe notices there is nothing he can do, and just decides to do one imaginary guitar solo before moving on. This guitar solo is Frank Zappa's swan song. It has a bitter sweet riff, and slightly builds still maintaining its melancholic atmosphere. Frank Zappa once said this is the most favorite song he has ever written. I can see why.

Watermelon may be the end of the story, but the album ends with A Little Green Rosseta. The thing is, Zappa won't allow himself to end an album bitter sweet. The whole story is a prequel to Muffin Man! The whole band sings on this just about a little green rosseta (and a green rossiti too!) It's funny, and Zappa tells us how to make your own green Rosetta, and what to do if your record player is running out of power. He needed filler, and this does a good job.

Joe's Garage is a great album. I listened to it over and over again after I first got it. There is something just really great on it, it has a really special place for me. You also can't just listen to one act though, the whole thing together is where it's at. I highly recommend this album because, well, as Zappa says "You'll love it! It's a way of life!"

A_Flower | 5/5 |

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