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Frank Zappa - Apostrophe (') CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.03 | 637 ratings

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3 stars As others have said, Apostrophe (') is a very solid and accessible album by Zappa, chock-full of dirty humor and bluesy, rockin' guitar licks. However, there are no tracks here that stand out to me, and this appears to be the weakest of Zappa's mid-70s, more mainstream rock records. Nothing here ever reaches the heights of Camarillio Brillo, Inca Roads, or The Torture Never Stops off Overnight Sensation, One Size Fits All, and Zoot Allures respectively. What we have with Apostrophe (') is a middle-of-the-road, inoffensive (an odd term considering this is Zappa we're talking about) album, with few musical peaks or valleys. Of course, the main draw here is the Nanook Suite, or however you wanna call it. This is Zappa's dirty, absurd humor at its best, and the message seems to take the forefront, with the music supporting except for spurts of action around key events in the story. The parts of the sequence that appeal most to me are St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfastand Father O'Blivion, when Zappa finally deviates from the slow, supporting blues of the Don't Eats the Yellow Snow and Nanook Rubs It and rocks out with some funky and interesting parts.

The rest of the album just kinda falls flat with me. There is the resurgent oozing blooz of Cosmik Debris and Stink Foot, which is rather uninteresting, and Zappa would prove he could do much better with the formula on Zoot Allures. Excentrifugal Forz is a decent, frantic intro to Apostrophe', but as oddball as it is, I really don't know what purpose it serves at all. It's not even a proper intro really, but rather a half-baked idea tossed in for I-really-dunno-why. The lowest point for me is Uncle Remus, which I just don't like at all. Against the rest of the album, this piano-driven track stands out, but only in that minor respect. It really doesn't have any value to me, but if you can dig Zappa's bluesy stuff easily, you'll probably get a bigger kick out of it than me. In fact, you'll probably knock the album up to a 4/5 rather than my 3/5. The title track is all that remains now, and it's a winner. This is Zappa-blues-rock done well with yet some more dirty guitar licks, but this time the song has a much faster pace and it's an instrumental, meaning Zappa can let loose (finally) on this conservative (heh, another funny word to describe Zappa) album, and really rock out.

Why this album was such a hit when 3 or so albums surrounding it were all more deserving is one of the injustices we've all gotta deal with. Apostrophe (') is alright, but only just. Get it somewhere down the line after his better rock and jazz-rock records.

stonebeard | 3/5 |


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