I'll never forget what's her name.
Michael J. Melton | Pulaski, Wi United States | 06/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember I thought the Beatles were "neat" when I was in later grade school. Then in Jr. High my minister's younger brother made a fortunate error and left Surrealistic Pillow and the Doors first album behind and the minister let me listen to them while visiting with my parents. I was hooked! So then I decided to risk buying something that looked really wild and bought Absolutely Free as a freshman. I put it on my little record player and was immediately disappointed. What was this stuff!?. I gritted my teeth to think of all that hay baling money going to waste. So there I sit pouting about my wasted cash when the gorgeous friend of my big sister (a knock out cheer-leading junior) picks up the album as she walks by and says "This is cool! Do you dig Zappa Mike?" (I am thunderstruck that she is willing to address me by name and so of course I have to tell her the truth) "Yeah! Yeah, I really dig Zappa" She smiled and then left and I immediately re-listened to the album with a new curiosity. By the time I got through "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" I discovered that these guys are really talented and I'm loving the funny, clever lyrics. I still enjoy this album as a ground-breaking rock classic."
Zappa, part the second...
Grigory's Girl | NYC | 07/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the 2nd album in the Zappa universe, and it's just as good as its predecessor, Freak Out! (one of the best debut albums in rock history). It's also an album I rarely played, and I wasn't really sure why. But that has changed lately, and the more I play it, the more I dig it. It's a shatteringly complex, infinitely listenable album that is actually more cohesive than Freak Out and many of the tracks have stood the test of time. Many of these pieces made it onto later albums in full orchestra glory (like The Duke of Prunes on the Orchestral Favorites album).
The opener, Plastic People, still rings true, and the next few songs (The Duke of Prunes, Amnesia Vivace, and The Duke Regains His Chops) make up a complex mini-suite. Zappa would have probably been more at home composing classical music than rock, but he never got any official musicial training when he was younger (he was poor and hated school), so he managed to make the Mothers of Invention his "orchestra", so to speak. The music is intrinicately arranged, and always surprises. I love Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin, one of Zappa's most interesting and tuneful instrumentals. The classic America Drinks and Goes Marching (which also appeared in a jazz version on King Kong, a collaberation with Jean-Luc Ponty) is also here, and so is one of Zappa's bonafide classics, Brown Shoes Don't Make It. While I may be the only person in the world who likes the Tinsel Town Rebellion version, I like the original too. The song is still hysterical and holds up very well, despite being 40 years old. Zappa was never explicitly political on his early works, which is one of the reasons his satiric lyrics still hold true. In the late 80's, he got explicit with his politics (specifically on his Broadway the Hard Way album), and that album is dated. Absolutely Free isn't. It's one of Zappa's best albums, a worthy successor to Freak Out!, and an album that is as fresh today as it was then."