Reviewing A To Z

Disclaimer: this page is not written by from the point of view of a Frank Zappa fanatic and is not generally intended for narrow-perspective Frank Zappa fanatics. If you are deeply offended by criticism, non-worshipping approach to your favourite artist, or opinions that do not match your own, do not read any further.

Got a couple of hours to spare? This chap’s Zappa review page, which grants our man a Class C should keep you occupied. And when you’re done, there’s this. (via)

13 thoughts on “Reviewing A To Z”

  1. He’s not entirely wrong on all accounts in his critiques of the albums- but as far as overall ratings, I think he is GOOFY!

    The only artists with albums to receive his highest rating are-

    The Beatles
    Bob Dylan
    The Rolling Stones &
    The Who

    Each of these artist has about 3-5 of their albums in this, highest of high categories. All of which deserve to be at the top, but, to say no other albums you have reviewed are as significant and/or awesome as these artists is a bit off the wall.

    That and he rated Beefheart’s “Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)” ABOVE “Trout Mask Replica”. Trout mask being the obviously glaring Beefheart album for any critic.

  2. Oh absolutely, I agree. As a Neil Young fan, his, shall we say “less than favorable reviews” had me laughing my proverbial ass off — because some of what he says is true (cases in point: Tonight’s The Night, On The Beach, Zuma, Freedom).

  3. Not having read the albums reviews yet, I have to quote: “and since then MTV has ruled the world without any hinderance…” Yeah, since Frank was banished from the MTV (according to the YCDTOSA).
    In the introduction, though, I don’t agree with his defining Zappa as dated. Sure ’nuff Zappa was able to characterise, and see through an age, and use it in his music (especially satirically), but at the same time he would be rather progressive, pointing beyond that time, even though it wouldn’t necessarily be towards what would become mainstream. Obvious examples, I think, are the first three MOI albums, and especially Absolutely Free, having both a satirical side (B), and a progrssive side (A). But the the elements are overlapping of course. But also his jazz-rock albums of the late 60’s and 70’s are far more progressive than, for example Ponty’s or Sugarcane Harris’ more dull albums. Well, gotta go back to the album reviews.

  4. I don’t particularly think Zappa is dated in anyway. But I’ll say this-this guy’s biggest mistake is that he holds some of Zappa’s work to a tradition it should not. It’s one of the reasons you find people who ‘only like his comedy stuff’, ‘only like his jazz stuff’, ‘only like his classical stuff’ and so on. They enjoy one aspect and hold the rest of it up to the same standards, which it shouldn’t. Would you eat a grape and then say “Yuck! This is NOT NEAR cheesy enough.”

    It’s fair criticism, but I can’t really take it seriously..Zappa fused to many styles to be viewed in context as just one. No one hears Conlon Nancarrows music and thinks “It doesn’t swing enough.” Why should we do the same to Mr.Zappa?

  5. Frank said it best to Tipper, “May your shit come to life and kiss you on the face.” ‘Nuff said.

  6. He had me up until “the rotten blues jam ‘Rat Tomago'”

    Whiskey, Tango Foxtrot?

    Heheh..overall, I agree with most of what he said.

  7. Frank’s philosophy included not needing to be liked.

    George Starostin goes to great lengths to reveal himself as a huge Zappa fan, in spite of his need to also be critical. Perhaps he is challenging Zappa fans, but certainly not to the degree that Zappa challenged his fans and himself artistically. But Frank wouldn’t actually care either way if we agree or disagree with Starostin– or if we liked or disliked all or parts of his works.

    The fact that Starostin gives highest ratings to Beatles, Dylan, Stones & Who is pretty safe. So he qualifies as a Classic Rock program director. So what? A regular middle class sweetheart I’d say. So what? How many albums has he released? In the final analysis, Starostin doesn’t really challenge that much.

  8. Hey, I totally agree with this guy.

    Watching Mick Jagger strut like a chicken
    on stage for the past 60 years
    is an untrammeled psychal delight.

    It’s almost like Mr. Jagger was reading
    my mind when he went through his cross-dressing
    stage decades ago. That was EXACTLY what I
    was looking for in entertainment – very effeminate men!!

    The Stones music has advanced the cause of,
    not only pop music, but the entire concept of
    music in general throughout the world, FOREVER!
    The reverberations of the fullness of their inspirational
    message will echo through the future.

  9. I know and love lots of people who don’t really ‘get’ Frank. I have no problem with that. But I will never have a couple hours to spare to read this guy’s reviews. I clicked on his review of ‘Studio Tan’ and read this:

    Without the ‘lyrics’ (‘narrative’? ‘delirium’?), the whole first side [‘Gregory Pecary’] would be just a bunch of avantgarde jazz noises, atonal jams and self-indulgent demonstration of Frank’s band’s playing skills which we all know anyway. As it is, the whole thing’s absolutely hilarious – at times reminding me of the famous Peter Gabriel epics. I don’t even accept this piece as ‘music’ – I couldn’t do that; I take it as a funny, entertaining ‘story’

    That is all I needed to read. ‘GP’ isn’t ‘music’? Sure, buddy.

  10. It appears that he’s holding up music with the assumption that the Beatles and the Stones are the ideal form. Did Frank snipe at such preconceptions? However, Zappa’s sound is dated, when you listen to his music, you can definitely guess what decade it’s from, this is a “casualty” of utilizing the newest equipement and sound. Besides, every Beefheart album is a masterpiece.

  11. I was reading this douche bag back in junior high, he doesnt know fuck. Another over-serious, over-educated shit head on some sort of high horse, he should werk fer MOJO MAGAZINE

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