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

THE MAN FROM UTOPIA

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.15 | 252 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars At very least, this album gives us one of the funniest Frank Zappa album covers ever. A muscular Zappa. on stage, crushing a stratocaster with his bare hand, while swatting away mosquitos. Great painting.

The music inside is something of a mixed bag. First, there are the simple songs. Cocaine Decisions, SEX and Stick Together have got to be some of the least funny lyrics (when trying to be funny), Zappa has written. And the songs they play over are quite boring - very strange for Zappa.

Then there are the scat lyrics. The Radio Is Broken, The Dangerous Kitchen and The Jazz Discharge Party Hats continue an experiment started on "Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch", where Zappa badly sings out a story, and the band improvises music to go along with it. Some of Steve Vai's imitation of the voice is cool, and there is a good written sectrion in The Radio Is Broken, but mostly this experiment fails.

But there are a few good songs. Tink Walks Amok, a bass workout for Art Barrow, We Are Not Alone and Moggio are all fine Zappa pieces. A medley, The Man From Utopia Meets Mary Lou, a slick blending of some old rock standards is quite fun.

Luigi & The Wise Guys, a silly a cappella piece featuring original Mother Roy Estrada, a bonus track on the CD version, is silly and forgettable.

As a Zappa album, it's not one I'd recommend for newbies, but it has some merit. Just barely three stars

Evolver | 3/5 |

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