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Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.87 | 483 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An uneven but none the less captivating album from the master of bizarre Frank Zappa. Utilizing his ensemble in many odd and interesting ways, this album has a mock disco feel and has a more commercial approach. This album is the only studio album to feature the guitar and vocal talents of Adrian Belew who adds his flare and musical charm before his ventures with the Talking Heads and King Crimson. Tommy Mars and Peter Wolf cover the keyboards, and what a job they do, expansive, tasteful, and full of texture are what to expect from them on this album. Patrick O'Hearn takes bass duties and plays cohesively with long-time member Terry Bozzio, who drums and sings his heart out on this album.

Songs worth mentioning are Broken Hearts are for Assholes, City of Tiny Lites, Baby Snakes, Bobby Brown Goes Down, and Tryin' To Grow A Chin. Broken Hearts begins with an agressive and full throttle guitar riff and Bozzio screaming at the top of his lungs. Later, the song evolves into a vocal suite with Zappa repeating the mantra, "Ram it up your poop chute". City of Tiny Lites has a funky organ riff and some great vocals from Belew, and features a great unison guitar solo between Zappa and Belew. Baby Snakes features more full throttle guitar riffs, and some unnaturally high pitch vocals repeating "Baby Snakes" while Frank Zappa answers their calls. Bobby Brown Goes Down is a capitvating and nonetheless bizarre tune about how a man's life can go the exact opposite of what he wanted, with the chorus of "God I am the American Dream". Tryin' To Grow a Chin features more Bozzio vocal madness, this time taking form of a young man who wanted to be like the older kids. In the end, he would have a chin that would be seldom rivalled.

Overall, the audacity and bizarre songs are captivating and are a joy to listen to. However, some of the songs are utterly pointless, and the 12 minute Yo Mama gets tedious and boring during the guitar interlude. Otherwise, this is a good album that all Zappa fans should own. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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