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Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat CD (album) cover

UNCLE MEAT

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.15 | 344 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Uncle Meat marks an amazing shift in Zappa's career. After albums filled with pop-parody-clichés and lyrical banter, Zappa delivered a challenging work of art full of influences from modern classical (Stravisnky), free-jazz and avant-rock.

At 120 minutes it's a lot to swallow, but it can roughly be divided in three large chunks: 45 minutes of babbling and film dialogue that you should preferably skip, next a couple of short pop songs with either silly Zappa vocals or operatic female contributions (which I tend to skip as well), and finally a good hour of astonishing instrumental music that reaches miles beyond anything else that was happening in rock in those years. But not only their innovative quality is noteworthy; all pieces are short, snappy and very inspired.

The quality of the recordings varies a bit depending on the sources, some of the pieces are recorded live and sound a bit thin, such as the jazzy Ian Underwood whips it out. Other tracks such as Mr Green Genes reveal the high studio recording standards that Zappa set for himself, and Tengo 'na Michia Tanta with its fat drums can't possibly be from 69.

While not everything is to my liking, Uncle Meat offers an excellent introduction into Zappa's 60ties albums, featuring not only the silly pop pastiches of those years but also some great jazz-rock and lost of modernist avant-rock. With the remote control close at hand, this sure is an excellent listen.

Bonnek | 4/5 |

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