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Frank Zappa - Cruising With Ruben & The Jets CD (album) cover

CRUISING WITH RUBEN & THE JETS

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.69 | 187 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars No one can accuse Maestro Zappa and The Mothers of Invention of being afraid to try ANYTHING, because Cruising with Ruben and the Jets is an album of 50's Doo-Wop styled pieces, all original compositions by Zappa with the odd credit going to vocalist Ray Collins. Doo-Wop is NOT Prog (duh), but that's not to degrade this release ; I don't think Zappa and his Mothers intended to set the world ablaze with this project, or to 'get their cruddy music on the radio' (as the voice-bubble states on the amusing cover) . It's definately a well done excercise in reverence to a musical style the boys in the band grew up with and genuinely enjoyed. The melodies are infectious, the vocal arrangements are faithful, even a tad humourous, given the heavy emphasis on falsettos and the backing, low register dooby-doo's (courtesy of Frank) and occasional tweaking of pitch, exemplified by the opening cut 'Cheap Thrills'. The 'redundant piano triplets' are so catchy and effective, Roy Estrada's bass has this twangy edge to it - so 50's really. I truly love this work by the band, even if it was retro already in 1968. Top marks go to 'Deseri' (Collins' voice is superb along with the simple but effective melody), although 'Love of my Life', 'How Could I Be Such A Fool', 'I'm Not Satisfied', 'Later That Night' and 'Fountain of Love' are all really, really good too. Album closer, 'Stuff Up The Cracks' features a cool, wah-wah guitar solo from the man, which stands out from all the other guitar parts on the album. Push this one to 3 and a half stars.
Tom Ozric | 3/5 |

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