‘Over-Nite Sensation’- Frank Zappa

Oh Frank, you magnificent bastard. Here, one of his more accessible efforts, from 1973, we are given yet another glimpse into his brilliant mind. The most alluring thing about Zappa has always been that, above all else, what he does best is piss people off. This time around, he manages to craft an accessible pop tune out of a woman daring a man that he can’t give her an orgasm (“Dinah-Moe Humm”). Zappa’s willingness to turn his back completely on whatever was happening in the mainstream has always been his greatest strength as an artist.

As mentioned above, this is a quite accessible album. In fact, it’s probably the closest thing to a straight ahead rock album that Zappa ever made. What’s more, some of his funniest songs are on this record, including the before mentioned “Dinah-Moe Humm”, as well as “Dirty Love”, “Fifty-Fifty”, and “Montana”, which tells the story of a man who moves to the state of Montana to grow dental floss. This record is full of the typical Zappa outrage, just in a more traditional rock structure. Some have pointed this out as a flaw, saying that Zappa isn’t Zappa playing within the traditional confines of popular music. Others disagree, arguing that his ability to fit his typical subject matter within such confines further demonstrates his overall brilliance as an artist.

Of course, there is also the factor of whether or not the listener is able to stomach Zappa in the first place. If you know anything about him or have heard any of his music, you know that his tastes are not to everyone’s liking. Let’s face it, Zappa isn’t for everyone. Well, let’s be a bit more honest with that: Zappa is above many of your average listeners (Sorry, not sorry). So then, chances are that if you aren’t typically a Zappa fan, you might still be able to find this record to your liking. If this is you, you certainly have a better chance of liking this record than many of his others. For those of us Zappa fanatics, we’ll be doing just fine with this record or any countless others of his. Don’t get too comfortable putting this record on, though, for it moves at practically the speed of light. The record flows so smoothly, is so engaging, so funny, and so just overall enjoyable that you’ll soon find yourself having to spin the next record! There won’t be any pessimists’ club for this record. Kindness shall be rewarded to it, even at the contempt of some.

5/5

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