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Frank Zappa - The Mothers Of Invention: Freak Out! CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.93 | 639 ratings

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4 stars This debut album by Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention was quite a revolutionary release for its time and can be considered an important cornerstone of Proto-Prog. The music is for most part simplistic, consisting of almost jingle-like short tunes smeared in the San Francisco Sound of the time. But don't be fooled by this sound since this is a lot more than just your average product of its time!

Conceived as a satirical concept album depicting everything that was wrong with the society, Freak Out! was a daring beast of a double album that could only be conceived by a mind of a young genius. The material here takes its inspiration from the rock & roll and doo-wop of the '50s and adds a layer of out-of-this-world experimental layers on all of it which must have been unheard of in popular music of the '60s. I'm not talking about the loose experimentation of Acid and Psychedelic rock but rather a slick and well-coordinated performances that keeps things relatively well-balanced all throughout the first LP.

The second LP features 3 lengthy compositions, starting with Trouble Every Day, that are much less structured and make this album sound disjointed when trying to sit through the complete 60 minutes of this experience of a double album. Still, there's really no denying the excellence of this music which is why anything less than the 4 star rating would be impossible for me to grant this masterful debut. It's unfortunate that Freak Out! was never much of a commercial success, especially in comparison the the hefty production values that it accumulated, but those low sales only show how prejudges people were and still are towards artist image. The Mothers of Invention were far from the sympathic role models like Jim Morrison and his the Doors or Jefferson Airplane and this lack of cool image was enough for most kids to completely dismiss this music. It goes to show that we just never learn from mistakes of the past.

Freak Out! might sound a lot like a product of its time but when put into perspective of a satirical concept album that makes fun of the '50s United States culture it really makes Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention seem ahead of their time. Not only did they successfully make fun of the society around them but they did it in a highly creative experimental rock setting which makes this music an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection!

***** star songs: Hungry Freaks, Daddy? (3:27) Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder (3:31) Motherly Love (2:45) You Didn't Try To Call Me (3:17) Any Way The Wind Blows (2:52)

**** star songs: I Ain't Got No Heart (2:30) Who Are The Brain Police? (3:22) How Could I Be Such A Fool (2:12) Wowie Zowie (2:45) I'm Not Satisfied (2:37) You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here (3:37) Trouble Every Day (6:16) Help I'm A Rock (8:37) The Return Of The Son Of Monster Magnet (12:17)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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