Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage, Acts II & III CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.90 | 291 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars If Joe's Garage really were a live musical, I would walk out in the third act.

The first two acts are amazing, but this last disc drops the ball so staggeringly that I was genuinely let down. The sardonic wit which worked so well in the first disc misfires here completely, given that the first 13 minutes are about prison-rape, and the remaining songs don't advance the story in any worthwhile way. The lyrics are scatter-brained and unfocused, as the meandering songwriting. The satirical pop feel of the first two acts vanish entirely, and the art-rock style doesn't work as well with the timbre of Zappa's playing or vocals here.

That being said, there are some instrumental highlights which caught my eye-- though mostly because they were the fey bright spots in this release. "Keep it Greasy" has some funktastic bass work and a groovy jam section, while most tunes feature very smooth, extended Zappa guitar soloing, which isquite satisfying. However, these are scarce compensation for vacuous song-writing. If Zappa could read a review like this (which I am sure he never would), he'd probably laugh and say something snarky... but I know entertaining music when I hear it, and Joe's Garage Part 3 isn't.

Readers should note that the first two acts are contained on a single disc in the compilation of Joe's Garage, which is the way to go if you're interested in checking out this album; this third act isn't irredeemable, but I can almost garuantee that the first disc will see much more play then this one.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |


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