Frank Zappa
Lumpy Gravy


3.5
great

Review

by Aaron: Non-contributor USER (44 Reviews)
May 26th, 2013 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1968 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Is the gravy really that lumpy or is that me?

Oh boy, this little record is quite the unique one, considering it’s Frank Zappa’s debut album. It sure is a departure from The Mothers of Invention’s material. Yes, it has the charm that “Absolutely Free” has, and also contains every single bit of weirdness that “Freak Out!” has. When recording “Lumpy Gravy”, Zappa would incorporate session players to create a group known as the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra. Along with this “orchestra”, Zappa and company would create some of the most bizarre music of his career.

Starting the album off is a bit of spoken dialogue, which is highly consistent throughout “Lumpy Gravy”. Throughout the first side, the listener will get a nice audible treat of sound effects, orchestral noodling, and sped-up recordings. Did I mention there’s lots of snorting (of the pig-like variety) involved?

This, along with the quirky snippets of dialogue, makes for a quite “interesting” first side. To tell you the truth, it’s absolutely horrifying. The second side, “White Ugliness (Gravy)”, like before opens with a hilarious dialogue that includes one of the greatest lines of all time: “I’ve heard you’ve been having trouble with pigs and ponies”. The dialogue is more present here, and makes no sense at all, but is enjoyable to hear. “Lumpy Gravy” marked the beginning of Zappa’s highly-influential solo career that spanned over two decades, and while other albums such as “Hot Rats”, “Joe’s Garage” and “Civilization Phase III” are much better albums and certainly overshadow “Lumpy Gravy”. But that doesn't mean this isn't worth your time and doesn't make for a good listen. Zappa’s skills as a composer are fully realized on this record, and show the direction he and The Mothers were heading in, even if The Mothers themselves were not present in this specific recording.

Considering this was part of the project known as “No Commercial Potential”, which included the critically-lauded Mothers album, “We’re Only In It for the Money”. Also part of this project were: “Uncle Meat”, and “Cruising with Ruben & the Jets”. It makes complete sense that in a way, those albums along with “Lumpy Gravy” are related in one way or another. But when thinking about it, this gravy wasn’t so lumpy after all.



Recent reviews by this author
The Enid The SpellElectric Wurms Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk
Kimono Kult Hiding In The LightA Slow Descent Dance With Me Upon His Secret Ocean
Yes Heaven and EarthThe Flaming Lips 7 Skies H3
user ratings (131)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Edwin (4)
‘The way I see it, Barry, this should be a very dynamite show.’...


Comments:Add a Comment 
sideburndude
May 26th 2013


2782 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hm was that long list of musicians really necessary?

ViperAces
May 26th 2013


12439 Comments


Lincoln Mayorga played here?? oh man i gotta check this out

ViperAces
May 26th 2013


12439 Comments


and victor feldman sweet jesus

dannyboy89
May 26th 2013


11973 Comments


it doesn't mean it makes for a good listen


I think you mean: "that doesn't mean it's not a good listen"

Yes, double negative applies here. Review is solid and readable, so I gave my pos.

BTW, what's your first language?

dannyboy89
May 26th 2013


11973 Comments


^my bad. Review is well written. English is actually my 2nd language, Spanish being my 1st.

Calc
May 26th 2013


12212 Comments


hm was that long list of musicians really necessary? [2]

Digging: Milo - A Toothpaste Suburb

Jethro42
May 26th 2013


12456 Comments


Oh yet another Zappa's. Have another pos.

manosg
May 27th 2013


6133 Comments


Weird album. Keep 'em coming Frip, pos.

Digging: John Coltrane - Ballads

dannyboy89
May 27th 2013


11973 Comments


Zappa's skills as a composer is fully realized on this record


You know what to do. I found no other errors. Will you be doing more Zappa reviews?

DrGonzo1937
May 27th 2013


5725 Comments


Have yet to give this album a spin. Good review.

dannyboy89
May 27th 2013


11973 Comments


^nice.

DrGonzo1937
May 29th 2013


5725 Comments


Burnt Weenie Sandwich is the shit!

SsPpAaMm
July 26th 2014


16 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You kind of have to accept this album for what it is, two 16-minute tracks that have less to do with "songs" and more to do with keeping you wondering what Zappa is going to throw at us next. Every time I listen to this album I get the feeling that I am flipping through TV channels or radio stations picking up 30 - 45 seconds here and there of each broadcast before moving to the next.

This album kind of works for me. It is a fun 32 minutes that I find a great little time waster. I also put it on sometimes on long trips to piss the wife off.

BMDrummer
July 26th 2014


7708 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

huh, guess i like this more than you fripp

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy