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Frank Zappa - Hot Rats CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



4.34 | 1692 ratings

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3 stars I've never understood the huge appeal of Zappa. I recognize the talent of the man, and I certainly respect him and his music... i just don't find it very entertaining. Endless jams have never been my thing... and I figure, if it hasn't sunk in by now i'll probably never be a fan.

This album doesn't totally convince me either, though it does start off very good. The first two tracks on Hot Rats are, to my ears, the best things he ever recorded. The rest of the album is a long-winded blur of annoying saxophone solos (Gumbo Variations) and half-memorable songs that start with great musical themes, but after cycling through them a few times, and then adding prolix soloing overtop, said themes lose their impact (Son of Mr Green Genes) as songs deteriorate into tedium.

'Peaches En Regalia' is a brilliant early-morning song... it's best heard when you've just awakened, right before the sun comes up... it's a great way to start a day. The Jazzy asian-sounding themes are beautiful and stay with you a long time after the song ends. It's short duration ensures it never overstays it welcome.

The gritty classic 'Willie the Pimp' just plain rocks, and is easily my favorite Zappa song. Captain Beefheart's rough whiskey-soaked rasps add a bruising dimension to this music that is sorely lacking on the remaining songs. The song is about 5 minutes too long though... Frank never seems to know when enough is enough.

This is surely the best place to start if you want to begin exploring the music of Frank Zappa... and if you enjoy long jamming instrumentals full of excellent soloing, you'll be in heaven.

AdamHearst | 3/5 |


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