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Frank Zappa - The Man From Utopia CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.15 | 252 ratings

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2 stars Alewd, crude, non-essential interlude similar to "Zoot Allures" (which I never found that alluring). "The Man From UTOPIA" treads over familiar terrain: the science fiction spoof, the anti-"Union" speech, the neverending plea for panties, etc. Honestly, the '80s were hardly the golden age of ZAPPA, his releases aimed alternately below the belt (like this one) or over the heads of everyone (Francesco ZAPPA, Jazz From Hell). With the unpleasantness of "Cocaine Decisions" (it's just not that clever) and "The Dangerous Kitchen" (yuck!) behind, a good album does begin to emerge. The instrumentals "Tink Walks Amok" and "Moggio" are challenging and exciting, while "The Radio Is Broken" is nearly as funny as "Cheepnis." But re-hashing old themes invariably invites comparison to earlier, superior efforts. "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink" was a hoot, "Stick Together" doesn't even muster a chuckle. "The Mud Shark" was part mythology, "The Jazz Discharge Party Hats" mundane and somehow pitiful. And "SEX" is way too obvious an observation for an artist who delivered the delicious "Ms. Pinky" not too long ago. If you're prone to giggle when you hear a dirty word, then "The Man From UTOPIA" could elicit some laughs. Still, I wouldn't rank this in the top ten or twenty albums from ZAPPA, despite the presence of some A material (like the closing instrumental, "We Are Not Alone"). Frank would have done well to take his own advice this time: shut up 'n play yer guitar.
daveconn | 2/5 |


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