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Frank Zappa - Trance-Fusion CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.52 | 77 ratings

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3 stars I'm not sure how many casual Zappa fans were clamoring for a third volume of Zappa guitar solos (this time a 1-CD set, as opposed to the 3-CD set of Shut Up and the 2-CD set of Guitar), but I guess the 2007 batch of archive releases was intended for the devoted fan anyway (it should be noted that this was another volume that Zappa was putting together until soon before he died). Unless somebody who buys this is expecting something different from a collection of guitar solos (which is possible: at least the last two volumes told you exactly what you were getting in the title), I can't really see how a fan that comes into this with high hopes would be disappointed. The album mostly focuses on Zappa's last tour (though some tracks go back as far as 1977), and this is nice because it keeps the collection from feeling redundant (Shut Up mostly focused on the late 70's and Guitar mostly focused on the 80's) and it gives a chance to observe the consistent evolution of Zappa's soloing approach over the years. The backing is often even more technophilian than on Guitar, but it sounds ok, and it never gets in the way of Zappa's talents.

Naturally, of course, I can't get through this in one sitting, but then again I never could with the first two volumes either. Also naturally, I mostly can't match the performances to their names, except for being able to pick out the opening "Chunga's Revenge" and the 1:30 "Good Lobna" (named after a Season 4 Simpsons quote), and usually that would be a sign of giving an album a bad grade. Yet while this album is certainly destined only for background listening and contributing tracks to the shuffle function of my iPod, it's a blast in filling both of those purposes. Zappa continues to show endless invention in his solos, and never once do I feel the album is just repeating itself with the same ideas over and over. And ultimately, that's enough for a collection like this. If you don't like Zappa's guitar solos, stay far away, but if you're at all warm towards them, you should be all over this.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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