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Frank Zappa - The Mothers Of Invention: Uncle Meat CD (album) cover

THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION: UNCLE MEAT

Frank Zappa

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.07 | 469 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Part Zappa-style orchestration, part Zappa-style improvisation, and part Zappa-style documentary, Uncle Meat is an odd combination of pleasures that entertains but seldom impresses. In a way, it's a reflective work by Zappa and the Mothers' musical career up to that point; here the noodling outnumbers the music, which when present is great, but you'll have to do a ton of bushwhacking through comedic or psychedelic or meditative scat to get there.

Uncle Meat opens with a bouncy and jaunty instrumental composition, indicative of Zappa's ambition as composer. It's a highlight, as is the extended and personality filled jamming of "Nine Types of Industrial Pollution," where Zappa's acoustic guitar just doesn't quit. "Dog Breath" is bottom heavy and playful, while "Golden Arches" is another showcase of precision and complex arrangement. Beyond that the tunes are fun but nothing outstanding. Scattered throughout are 10 - 15 minutes of recorded dialogue, on stage antics, and general Zappa weirdness. It's usually interesting but doesn't encourage the same kind of replay-ability that you'll get in other releases.

Bottom line, for me Uncle Meat is a lot of fun, but not an essential Zappa album. Start with something more musical, but definitely find your way here if you enjoy the Mothers' sound.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 2 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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