Sunday, 27 December 2015

Music review: Dweezil Zappa - ’Via Zammata’

Music review: Dweezil Zappa - ’Via Zammata’

Because my oldest brother was a Frank Zappa fan, I naturally became a fan as well.

After borrowing my brother’s copy of 1976’s “Zoot Allures” featuring bizarre selections like “Wind Up Workin’ in a Gas Station,” “The Torture Never Stops” and “Disco Boy,” I was hooked and would spend the following years listening to every new Zappa album my brother would bring home.

Dweezil Zappa follows in his legendary father’s innovative footsteps with a new release that captures the creative lunacy that fueled his father while also flashing moments of infectious pop stylings. Named for the Sicilian street where the Zappa family originated, “Via Zammata’” is Zappa’s first new solo album of original material since 2006’s “Go With What You Know.”

For the new album, Zappa was able to put into practice what he has absorbed from studying and performing his father’s music over the last 10 years. The 46-year-old guitarist comes into his own both musically and lyrically with the creation of the new material.

The album opens with a tantalizing instrumental that blends soaring orchestration with the cosmic edge of progressive rock on “Funky 15,” followed by an angelic chorus intro that quickly transitions into a rousing guitar-driven track on “Rat Race.” “What If” and “Just the Way She Is” freely flow with the pop sensibilities of Fountains of Wayne and “Truth” features more elegant string offers before gently yielding to Zappa’s beautiful guitar work on this instrumental that could easily be mistaken for a composition comprised from the brilliant mind of Brian Wilson for “Pet Sounds.”

The two major highlights of the album involve a pair of engaging collaborations. “Dragon Master” is a menacing heavy metal number first hatched by Zappa’s father in 1988 and displays some masterful guitar work and Judas Priest-like vocals, while “Malkovich” is a surreal opus that revolves around the narration of actor John Malkovich delivering portions of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.”


Frank Zappa is considered to be one of the most influential rock musicians of the late twentieth century. Between the start of his career in the late fifties and his death in 1993 he recorded and rele..

On September 19, 1985, Frank Zappa testified before the United States Senate Commerce, Technology, and Transportation committee, attacking the Parents Music Resource Center or PMRC, a music organizati..

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