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Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti CD (album) cover

SHEIK YERBOUTI

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.84 | 344 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Often described as Zappa's most commercial album (at least superficially),Sheik Yerbouti sets a brisk pace through an eclectic mix of satire and parody. Here Zappa is mostly concerned with having fun, crooning out unedited and vulgar lyrics from start to vinish with his gang of eccentric and crafty musicians.

"I Have Been In You" opens the album with Zappa's characteristic satire feel, sounding like a late '50's romance song with lots of layered vocals and an energetic pickup near the end-- the lyrics set the bawdy tone which will continue through the entire album. "Flakes" is a quirky number which goes in a dozen different directions, all of them humourus and interesting. The focus is mostly on layers of vocals and sound, along with cynical jabs at obvious musical genres and social groups. I could comment on other songs, but I would only be repeating myself. There are a few energetic or smooth instrumental sections thrown in there, but otherwise Yerbouti permanently set to silly.

The wit of lyrics do get in the way of the music as a whole. They are unignorably ribald and vulgar, so the ear is drawn to them whether you like it or not... in fact, this is almost a Weird Al album. "Bobby Brown" is clearly there only to make the listener squirm. Not that this fact makes Sheik Yerbouti a bad album, but it does make it rather light-weight, especially for a Zappa album. There is a scatter-brained sensation I got when listening, almost like the group threw together these tunes after a late night of drinking and dirty-jokes.

Any fan of Zappa will like something to like here, but for those more interested in the man's musicianship Sheik Yerbouti will probably be little more than a novelty.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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