alrighty, for this weekly review, we’re taking a look at Frank Zappa’s 1974 solo record, Apostrophe(‘). this will be my introduction to Zappa’s music, who i only otherwise know by reputation.

the record opens up with the Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow suite and honestly it’s… interesting for sure. it kinda goes back and forth for me – some parts of it are annoying or uninteresting, but some parts are catchy and funny. i think the opening track is neat. Nanook Rubs It In is dissonant in a way i dont find super engaging on repeat listens – the lyrics are p funny and the jazzy music is nice but as a package im just kinda middling on it. i think St. Alfonso’s Pancake House goes hardest on the zany aspect and yknow, i gotta give it credit for that. Father O’Blivion is probably the most successful as a single song for me, haha. instrumentally this song’s just doing a lot. Cosmik Debris is a nice song to transition into the rest of the record. the track’s got some funny bits, and i like the musical transition when the singer flips the script on the Mystery Man. Excentrifugal Forz is a weird little track. it always kinda flies right by me here on the record but yeah. weird track. gotta say though – this record absolutely saves the best for last. the title track, Apostrophe’, is a great time. Uncle Remus is probably the most serious the record gets, and even there it’s still got humor in store (the comment about the hose being a joke about riot suppression). great track. Stink-Foot’s funnier to me for sure. plus it’s also got some great jams to it. fun closer.

faves – Apostrophe’, Uncle Remus, Stink-Foot
dislikes –

yeah this was a really neat experience as a record. i always have a strange time going back and listening to what were very obviously formative records for musicians and artists i enjoy now – i can def hear influences on like, Weird Al and KGLW here, but the things i hear that are familiar get taken and developed and iterated on.

that being said, i definitely think this was good on its own, divorced from the things it would help shape. coming in at a tight half hour, this thing packed some really excellent musical bits and blended them with some unique humor, some of which landed for me and some of which didnt. definitely the second half did more for me than the first half did.

this makes me want to go see what else Zappa cooked up solo as well as what the Mothers of Invention got up to together. fun listen for sure.

Apostrophe(‘) – 6/10

the winner of this week’s suggestion pool is Dan Deacon’s 2020 record Mystic Familiar. i’ll be back next Friday, Apr 29 for a review, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then a pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)