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Frank Zappa - One Shot Deal CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.63 | 45 ratings

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Man With Hat
3 stars Get it while it's hot.

Even though Zappa may be dead, he will never stop releasing albums. There are countless posthumous albums, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. (Which is hardly a surprise if anyone has ever seen a picture of the Zappa vault.) Unfortunately, these albums are very hit or miss, some of them being brilliant, others not being worth the price. This one falls right in middle. This album starts fairly strong, but also contains some average material. Overall though, I would put this firmly into the 'good' camp, and something that is certainly worth owning.

The album begins with Bathtub Man, a silly blues song with a nice keyboard solo. Then, the magic happens. Both Space Boogers and Hermitage are experimental pieces, emphasizing percussive sounds, guitar/keyboard noises, and sparse atmospheres. Trudgin' Across The Tundra is a wonderful jazzy piece with some wonderful horn solos. This piece almost seems out of place in Zappa's catalogue as it conveys such beauty and spacyiness that is a quality not often emphasized in Zappa's recordings. I do wish this section of the CD was longer, as it is the best stuff on the record. After this, we get some famous Zappa guitar solos, first from Inca Roads with Occam's Razor and then from Yo Mama with Heildelberg. Occam's Razor is pretty lovely (even though there are many Inca Roads solos out there) but Heildelberg feels fairly incomplete, as it starts to get interesting but then it just ends. The Illinois Enema Bandit is a fair version of the song, but not really offering anything all too different with other versions out there. Australian Yellow Snow contains the first two parts of the 'Yellow Snow' saga from Apostrophe, including a very fun opening section and some typical Zappa humor at the end. Rollo is a continuation of that suite, and ends the album on a majestic note.

All in all, this is a middle of the road type of album. Material like Space Boogers and Trudgin' Across The Tundra make this worth while for Zappa fans. However, some of the material feels incomplete (Heildelberg) or excessive (The Illinois Enema Bandit). Also, it doesn't feel like this brought much to the table. This is by no means a complete concert, or contains material by an unheard lineup. Perhaps if this contained a bit more material, the average stuff could be a bit more overlooked. However, for what it is I think 3 stars if a fair rating. Zappa fanatics probably already have this, but if you are and don't, I would. But I wouldn't recommend this for the Zappa newcomer. 3 stars.

Man With Hat | 3/5 |


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