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

ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.32 | 560 ratings

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Leo Milani
5 stars I have to admit that my first Zappa experiences were kind of traumatic: the first album listen was "Hot Rats" with the absurd of "Willie the Pimp" and other 20" madness. Peaches en Regalia and Little Umbrellas sounded more comfortable and convinced me of Zappa's skill for composition. But we're not here to talk about "Hot Rats" (I understand and accept it much better today). "One Size Fits All" is my favorite Zappa album! I think his compositions skills are very developed here. There are some intrusting things about this album. Well, considering "Over-Nite Sensantion" and "Apostrophe (')" this is a rather darker album. Zappa seems to be amazed by the Lydian mode, which he uses all along the album, especially in the wonderful "Inca Roads" solo and the whole "Andy". Yet, other compositions seemed to have some kind of blue, like "Florentine Pogen", the Sofas, even "Inca Roads". That's very weird if we consider song like "Dirty Love" and the epic but hilarious first side of Apostrophe. Was Zappa getting sick or depressed? "Zoot Alures" is an even darker, more melancholic attempt? But I have to say: this kind of melancholy usually produces great works, and this case wasn't different. "One Size Fits All" is a great album, maybe an emotional descend, but an incredible composition and execution demonstration, its role was perfection. Let's talk about the songs:

"Inca Roads" starts with an exceptional swing, with the xylophone playing an Andes melody, like the ones we here in Chile and Peru, and a lot of noises from a synthesizer on the back. Well that's the musical representation for the lyrics, giving the idea of a flying saucer landing in the Andes (Machu Picchu?). Genial! Then Zappa's weird and schizophrenic rhythms on his solo. This is where the firs Lydian appears and, because of the way Zappa plays it, it even reminds Mixolydian. Again it's genial. After that solo and the great vocal part, the song sounds a little tiring. Zappa explores all the musicians' technique along the rest of the song, with enormous improvisations, accelerated and irregular tempos.

"Can't Afford no Shoes" gives our minds a rest after all the pyrotechnics in the first track. It's a simple, major tone, rock n' roll like song. It's a funny song. Fuzzy guitar sound and solo? very fast thing?

"Sofa nš 1" mixes German like erudite music with Rhythm and Blues. It's an epic, yet funny composition. Its execution is perfect, with all the instruments working together as a mass of sound, that's typical for Zappa, an orchestral vein.

"Po-Jama People" is another funny song. I admit I don't understand it's joke and the games with the words (if someone can explain it to me, please do it). The blues introduction is beautiful, but the song is kind of boring. I don't like this one as much as the others.

"Florentine Pogen" pleases me a lot. It's a simple composition, usual time signature and simple tones, between A Dorian and E Aeolian. Cool. Who impresses here is Napoleon Murphy Brock, a very crazy guy, with a great singing and playing skill. In this song he screams, sings "La, la, la" and plays great saxophone parts. His interpretation of the song needs no explanation. Great song indeed. There's an essential live version of it on "Dub Room Special".

"Evelyn, a Modified Dog" is used by Zappa for showing off. Difficult and complex time signatures, mostly atonal, Schoenberg's vocals? Well, he can do it, why shouldn't he?

"San Ber'dino" Again, as a Brazilian guy, I don't understand the joke. But musically it's another funny rock n' roll song, with great vocals and guitar sounds.

"Andy" starts with an epic melody and great parts in the rhythmic session, drum and bass work together like a machine gun, shooting, stopping, and shooting again. This is brilliant and very difficult to reproduce. Some irregular tempo vocals come to complete the mess. Like this one, some of Zappa's lyrics express some kind of hard feeling and I don't like that? But the song is great, anyway. Mostly Lydian as well. Beautiful, anyway.

"Sofa nš2" is the grand finale? Same song as nš1, but with some weird German singing, sometimes like an Opera. It couldn't end better than this.

Well, that's all folks. This is my first review and I hope you like it... Sorry if there's any misspelling or anything.

Leo Milani | 5/5 |

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