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Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All  CD (album) cover

ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.31 | 561 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention - One size fits all (1975)

A return of the Mothers with one of the most balanced Zappa albums. That is, if you can balance out top-notch inventive compositions with random silliness and stand-up comedian- like lyrics and performances. Musically we hear fusion, symphonic/spacey prog, awkward pop and silly soul music. The production is very good and clean, though I've yet to hear an album in which Frank Zappa with/without the Mothers has a memorable sound that's sticky. Often I feel some distance towards the music.

The lyrics are about being unable to buy shoes, modified dogs, the intolerance towards people wearing pajamas and the like. The vocals are always silly (in many different forms though) but not as irritating as one would find on some earlier Mother's records, 'Weasels ripped my flesh' comes to mind.

The guitar-work of Zappa is brilliant at times and he has developed a great guitar distortion sound. I would have loved to hear some more of it though. The opening track and 'Sofa no.1' are great tracks for this reason, though 'Sofa no.1' is also the most conventional symphonic prog track (with that glorious majestic feel) I've ever heard of Zappa. The track 'Po-Jama People' is funny, but a bit too stretched, whilst 'Can't afford no shoes' is more effective in this respect. On side two the funny and the musically developed are more intertwined. I had some expectations of 'Sofa No. 2', but it turned out to be almost exactly the same as part one, albeit with silly lyrics and vocals in German this time.

Conclusion. Now I shouldn't be put forward if searching for Zappa's biggest fan, but here's an album I can appreciate and enjoy without putting to much effort in it. Therefore it might be a good entry into Zappa's fast discography. I can give away the big three-and-a-halve stars here. Recommended to both fans and new-comers who want to know what the Zappa-fuss is all about.

friso | 4/5 |

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