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Frank Zappa - Francesco Zappa CD (album) cover

FRANCESCO ZAPPA

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.59 | 91 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This is probably my least favorite Zappa album (along with Thing Fish) solely because it has no real value whatsoever, except to show you that Frank was always at work and expanding his horizons. Unfortunately, this album just doesn't come off well at all. It sounds more like music from a Nintendo RPG from 1989 rather than a real Frank Zappa album. But maybe the reason it doesn't sound anything at all like Frank Zappa is because Frank didn't actually write the pieces to the album. The pieces were written by the composer Francesco Zappa (it is unknown if the two were related, though), and though they show some creativity in terms of what notes are played, the synclavier doesn't really help make the album sound better, it actually makes it sound worse.

The album is split up into two "opuses", and they really are opuses. With fancy names before each of the movements such as ALLEGRO CON BRIO or ALLEGRO CON BRIO (to give it a more classical feel, visually), one may think that there is some redeemable value in this album. Personally, though, these tracks are mostly weak noodlings that go nowhere fast and they don't really show the strength of the synclavier (listen to Jazz from Hell or Civilization Phaze III if you want some incredible synclavier work). The second opus of the album, titled Opus IV, is a bit more interesting than the first opus of the album, but it still isn't a terribly great piece. Sure Francesco Zappa's arrangements and compositions are interesting, but they come off as cheesy and weak when put through the synclavier.

Overall, this album is one of the worst in the Zappa collection. It seems that in the mid 80s Zappa had become a totally independent musician, who would rather work by himself than with a group of individuals playing original material he wrote. Still, if you're a completionist, this is a somewhat interesting timepiece, that at the time seemed like a good idea, but in retrospect, the project should have stayed on the shelves. If you want interesting synclavier work, check out later albums from the 80s such as Jazz From Hell or Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention. 1/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 1/5 |

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