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Frank Zappa - Hot Rats CD (album) cover

HOT RATS

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.33 | 1024 ratings

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Luke. J
5 stars After Frank and the Mothers seperated, it was difficult to guess what he would do next. Luckily, he decided to do some experiment. The more evident jazz-influence here is something special. ''Hot Rats'' is quite challenging if you never heard stuff like that before, because some passages turn out into chaotic jamming and weird improvisation. If you can enjoy this, here you go.

The album is mostly instrumental. To replace the Mothers, Zappa surrounds himself with many more or less famous musicians for this record. All of them are obviously talented and have no fear to show it, as there are a lot of impressive passages spread over the record. We have guitars, basses, violins and keyboards, which sum up for interesting jazz (fusion) music.

The records I knew from Zappa were Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation and Sheik Yerbouti (reviews following), so it came quiet a shock to me when ''Peaches en Regalia'' started. To me, it is the most recognizable song here, with a catchy melody which will stay in your ears a long time, I promise! It has so much energy in it. The next we have ''Willie the Pimp'' with Captain Beefheart doing some extraordinary vocals to make it the most funny piece here. I have a weak point for ''Son of Mr. Green Genes'', with its fusion style more than obvius. A bit to much 'wah-ing' maybe. What nearly prevented me from giving five stars is ''The Gumbo Variations''. Though I like long songs, here it all is carried out too long. Almost 17 minutes of jamming is not very pleasant, especially when some dissonant chords jump in. The rest are brillant composed tunes of instrumental music, and it is that kind of instrumental you remember, what does not drift aimlessly and has a clear focus on melody. I am sure I will be able to go back to this in years, and still think ''hey, that's great music!''.

Well, this is really hard for me. I feel it is essential for anyone interested in jazz/fusion (at least take a listen!), shows another face of Zappa for fans.. but on the whole it is not perfect. The weak points are the solos sometimes drifting into pure chaos. As long as this is in structure, it deserves 5 stars. For the influence it had, for its meaning in the history of Zappa, and the hours I enjoyed with this, here is my rating. Close five stars. It is maybe not the perfect masterpiece, but truly essential, if you want to know how to combine jazz and rock. And Zappa definetly does!

Luke. J | 5/5 |

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