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Frank Zappa - The Mothers Of Invention: Over-Nite Sensation CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.02 | 609 ratings

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4 stars Quirky, perverted, bizarre, and usually rewarding, Over-Nite Sensation is a great combination of Zappa's weirdness and his ability to make quality music. There are just a number of things about this album that are so uniquely Zappa that they defy adequate description as well as comparison. And you know what? When something is this unique and still undeniably good, it's also a quality progressive rock album, regardless of your personal idiosyncratic definition of the genre.

The first side is generally the better of the two in my esteem. The Mothers get off to a great start, with three succinct yet irresistably catchy tunes. Unlike much of Zappa's work, these actually ROCK, with plenty of great guitar fills and very solid work by the rhythm section of Fowler and Humphries (bass and drums, respectively). And of course we have the lyrics. In Camarillo Brillo we have the unusual rhyme of the word poncho with the following line: We did it 'till we were unconcho. I don't know if this is being creative or lazy, but I have to crack a smile every time I hear it. Or we also have this line from Dirty Love: I'll ignore your cheap aroma and your little-bo-peep diploma. I'll just put you in a coma with some dirty love. Disgusting yet strangely interesting, these kinds of things litter the entire album, for better or worse.

Then we move to Fifty-Fifty, the musical version of Seinfeld: the song about nothing. That's OK, because the outrageously over-the-top vocals more than make up for the lack of deeper meaning. Pony also delivers a nice violin solo to fit with the disco beat. Zomby Woof keeps up the great music, infusing some funk and killer guitar from Zappa.

Then things begin to go downhill, as Dinah-Moe Humm is just a bit to vulgar and disgusting to keep me interested. In addition, Zappa's low, I Am the Slime voice returns and takes up way too much time--sure, it's entertaining the first time, but it gets old quickly. Montana is much less disgusting, but no less weird. At least the music is better than Dinah-Moe, with more funk. I suppose these two songs represent my Zappa limit. Most people have one, and now I know where mine is.

After listening to this album, I always ask myself, What did I just listen to? And I can only say that I listened to Zappa, and that I liked it (something I can't say about probably half of his output). Everyone should own at least some Zappa, and I would put this up there with Hot Rats on the most essential list.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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