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Frank Zappa - Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar (The Box Set) CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.84 | 109 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Three discs of Zappa guitar jams is pretty much the definition of excess... perfectly performed and enjoyable instrumental excess. Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar is a compilation of mostly improvised performances that shows off Zappa's skill as a instrumentalist, whose guitar virtuosity is as scattershot and weird as his work as composer.

Because the songs on this release aren't so much songs as they are jams, Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar is a challenging album unless one is who either A) already a Zappa fan, or B) are a fan of instrumental rock in general. Because it's Zappa, the songs don't have hooks, choruses, or even melodies in most cases. These tunes are pure jams, but convey style and mood and creativity at pretty much every moment. Zappa and his varied assortment of supporting players (much of whom are recorded with him live), do a great job of catching the ear with their musical interplay.

The first disc is mostly noodling, and honestly gets old fairly quickly. Discs two and three build momentum, creating more cohesive sounding cuts that feel improvised, but also more like songs. The third disc especially has tracks that show off Zappa jamming at his best in a very appealing tone. This is not the bouncy, playful Zappa we hear in the early '70's; this is electric and cool and tasty.

A great purchase from the Zappa vaults, made especially more interesting because of its improvised and instrumental focus.

Songwriting: NA - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: NA - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |


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