Frank Zappa & The Mothers: Over-nite Sensation

By Mike Jahn

High Fidelity, April 1974

FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS: Over-nite Sensation.
Frank Zappa, guitar and vocals; vocal and instrumental accompaniment. I'm the Slime; Camarillo Brillo; Montana; Dinah-Moe Humm; Fifty-Fifty; Dirty Love; Zomby Woof. [Frank Zappa, prod.] DISCREET MS 2149, $5.98.

Zappa and his Mothers have been producing satirical rock with jazz touches for nearly a decade, and continue to come up with new ideas. The trouble is, this time the ideas are new but they're not funny. Zappa's biting lyrics are toothless. Sure, the ideas behind them are absurd: a man retiring to Montana to grow dental floss: slime emerging from the TV set: a woman betting a man he can't induce in her an orgasm.

But the execution of these lyrical ideas is poor, so poor one wishes that Zappa and his supporting vocalists had sung less audibly, so that one could ignore the words and enjoy the music. As usual, Zappa supplies a panoply of exciting, ever-varying jazz rock ably assisted by, among others, Jean-Luc Ponty on violin. But the lyrics do ruin the experience. Unless, of course, one gets off on crude satire and sophomoric sexual stories.

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