3 December 2012

Frank Zappa - Waka/Jawaka


For my first review of The Great Wazoo, him who shall not be questions (even when he is wrong), the one and only - Frank Vincent Zappa - is no an album I am over familiar with. To be totally honest, the guy did so much music and they are still achieves of his stuff which is getting released all the time. Even in my life time, I don't reckon it will all be released.

But this is not a time to discuss the man, the myth, the anti-hero. No, it is a time to discuss an album.  From 1972 and following Just Another Band From L.A., this album is seen as the follow up to one of his earlier works - Hot Rats. See, the name is on the taps......sigh.....

So, four songs long - two big out there numbers with lots of variation in the form of the title track and "Big Swifty" which are separated by "Your Mouth" and "It's A One Shot Deal".  As seems to be the theme of the day, another short album clocking in around 30-ish minutes and it is one the does not out stay it's welcome. Quite far from it - once it finished I wanted to hear it again.  This is not unusual with me and Zappa as might become apparent. But now to look at it without the rose tinted spectacles and to compare it to how I mark things.  This is a very easy Zappa album, not too taking as others or even that out there as something like Jazz From Hell for example.  You could easily have this on in the background for a party, in a Sunday pub situation or on your ipod/disc-man/whateverprotalabledeviceyouuseathon.

But easy Zappa is sometimes a bit wrong. Not saying that everything should be at a pitch where you are reaching for something to easy the pain, like sandpaper. But it feels like a comfy pair of jeans or slippers.  You like them, fun to be around but you wouldn't show them off as your best piece of fashion.  Also, after the second listen of this - which was as enjoyable as the first - the player went onto another Zappa album which will be looked at another time called The Yellow Shark. And I think that was a little unfair on Waka/Jawaka as it was sort of like your local pub band being followed by The Rolling Stone. They are in different leagues.  Waka/Jawaka is one for the Zappa worshippers, the purist and would be at home in any rock and jazz collection. But not really one for the outsider to this sphere of joy (IE the general public). Sometimes it is good to be on the outside now as Frank almost put it. He was right, and in his company it is always welcoming. So whilst it seems like I am giving this a low mark, it is only in comparison to the rest of his work. Even his off days are better than some bands top night.

6.95 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

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