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Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All  CD (album) cover

ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.31 | 559 ratings

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Luke. J
5 stars ''One Size Fits All'' was the last record released under the name of ''Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention'', although most musicians stayed with him. After the more solo-oriented releases, this clearly is the record of a band. And what a band this is! With this line-up, Zappa created one of his best albums. It is different from its predecessors not only in terms of quality, but also in complexity. The band has all space to show its potential in about 42 minutes, which are enough for more than a dozen of instruments, it seems. To mention is the usual fantastic guitarplaying by Zappa himself, doing once again his impressive solos. Now, let's go a bit in detail about the songs..

''Inca Roads'' evolved to become a classic of Zappa. This track features some insane vocals (partly canon, duet or solo), a catchy marimbaphone melody and drums setting accents, either stopping or bringing on a song. Yes, it seems to halt sometimes, which makes this a particular interesting track. ''Can't Afford no Shoes'' is more of a rocker here, the vocals are just insane, the music is fast. ''Sofa No.1'' is slower again, keyboards and percussion take the lead role in this short instrumental to prepare us for what is to come. ''Po-Jama People'' rises the tempo a bit. There are again crazy vocals, so the guitar playing, and.. well, like so many songs. Not a high point, but it does not fall out of line. ''Florentine Pogen'' goes on like this, it is instrumental impressive and has nice melodies. ''Evelyn, A Modified Dog'' is very laid back, with slow, supporting piano playing to vocals adding a mood of.. classical craziness? ''San Ber'dino'' is pretty satisfying, the harmonica adds tones to a rhythm and guitar, creating the atmospehere of Wild West. The rude vocals in the middle and the bar-piano playing makes me think of some old movies. I really ought to look for them in the TV guides. ''Andy'' is as crazy as the preceding tracks. Starts slow, falls into piano melody, to a pre-chorus, piano again? Chorus and so on. As you see, the piano is very present here, not only to add rhythmic chords, but occassional some scales. The vocals are also dominant here, so is the percussion. But what is sung here.. canon again. Dual again. The comparison might be taken from afar, but it remembers me of Gentle Giant. ''Sofa No.2'' Made me burst out laughing. It features the mighty melodies of ''Sofa No.1'', supported by bells, piano, strings and other keyboard effects, with Frank Zappa claiming in pseudo operatic vocals ''Ich bin hier, und du bist mein Sofa!''. Since I am a German native speaker, those words were so absurd to me. Combining nonsense like that with music to feature church bells? The holy ritual of relaxing or what? The shout at the end sounds like crazy Frank, leaping on his sofa with pleasure.

All in all, this is still one of the best albums of Frank. The points I often critisize (excessive soloing, too dirty lyrics) are not disturbingly present here. The music is quite eclectic, fusing elements from so many different genres to one. Zappa does not rush in the foreground of the music, his guitars are just an element of the whole. This whole is a nearly perfect mix of music, however, you might have to take it with a pinch of salt. It is not for everyone. If it is for you, Frank Zappa gives you the ticket to a trip through his universe, on an old red sofa. See you later!

Luke. J | 5/5 |

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