From the Vault...


Frank Zappa
"You Are What You Is"

© Rykodisc Records


track listing
  • Teen-age Wind
  • Harder Than
    Your Husband
  • Doreen
  • Goblin Girl
  • Themee From
    The 3rd Movement
    Of Sinister
  • Society Pages
  • I'm A Beautiful Guy
  • Beauty Knows No Pain
  • Charlie's Enormous
  • Any Downers?
  • Conehead
  • You Are What You Is
  • Mudd Club
  • The Meek Shall
    Inherit Nothing
  • Dumb All Over
  • Heavenly
    Bank Account
  • Suicide Chump
  • Jumbo Go Away
  • If Only She Woulda
  • Drafted Again

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Frank Zappa related sites:
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    Paul Simon--1964/1993
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    Frank Zappa
    "You Are What You Is"

    Frank Zappa's musical career has been an interesting journey. Where most of his music is hard to describe, his albums have covered practically in every genre: Rock, Psychedlia, Jazz, and Classical. Zappa defined his own style in each of these categories. His You Are What You Is displays his off-humor, musically in Rock styles. The title track was the flip side of his hit with his daughter, Moon Unit, "Valley Girl" (which by the way, is NOT on this release, it was originally featured on Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch).

    Teenage rebellion in Zappa's dry humor starts off "Teen-age Wind," where a countryish styled "You're Harder Than Your Husband" tells the story of the end of a love affair. Zappa has a different form of Rock on "Doreen," a song about one in love with a girl named Doreen. "Goblin Girl" has a reggaeish sound, with Halloween lyrics, and is typical Zappa humored lyrically and musically.

    The instrumental "Theme From The 3rd Movement Of Sinister Footwear" features Zappa's guitar work in an off-Jazz style, as heard from many of his releases. "Society Pages" is more novelty, telling the story of an ol' lady running a paper, and her son which would become the topic of the next song, "I'm A Beautiful Guy," as it blends into "Beauty Knows No Pain," as Zappa continues his own definition of Rock music. And each song from "Society Pages" references the next available song, as "Beauty Knows No Pain" merges into "Charlie's Enormous Mouth." So, we can say that this could be a medley. "Any Downers?" continues Charlie's story.

    "Conehead" continues the Zappa humor, and the title track was one of those songs that just grows on you, with repeated listens. "Mudd Club" has demented voices, and its best to follow the lyric sheet on this one. "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing" takes a look at religion, and once again, its in the typical Zappa fashion, lyrically and musically. Continuing with religion, dementia returns with "Dumb All Over." "Heavenly Bank Account" has a different musical approach, almost having a 1950s sound, maybe even gospel, it's Zappa in his own Rock nostalgic style. "Suicide Chump" has a cool boogie style, "Jumbo Go Away" has an off-Soul approach, yet it has some "crazy" Zappa guitar solos. "If Only She Coulda" returns with Zappa's off-humor in his original rock style, as it merges into "Drafted Again," continuing from his hit "I Don't Wanna Get Drafted."

    You Are What You Is has its moments -- Zappa's off-humor in many of his albums brings a chuckle to anyone, understanding his views and opinions. His music was truly original. Where his unique guitar playing, and different approaches in musical sound, Zappa was one who took his music in a way that no other rock artist/band went before. Zappa's musical tastes would also be reflected on the common sounds, such as Jazz and Classical, as he would place his own sound to each. Yet it's the off-humor lyrics and his unique rock sound that makes him a genius, music fans sometimes have to appreciate his music more and more with repeated listens. Zappa made statements in his music, and hearing it differently in lyric and in sound, it still made Zappa stand out as one of the best musicians Rock has even known.

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    Previous Review: #964
    Paul Simon--1964/1993
    Next Review: #966
    Little Feat--Feats Don't Fail Me Now