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Shane’s Rock Challenge: DWEEZIL ZAPPA – 1991 – Confessions

| 13 June 2014 | Reply

Shane’s Rock Challenge: DWEEZIL ZAPPA – 1991 – Confessions
By Shane Pinnegar

Dweezil Zappa - Confessions cover

On Confessions, Frank’s most prolific kid proves he has his Dad’s chops on guitar, if not the same unique and belligerently original musical vision.

Planting his flag firmly in the dead centre of the hard rock/hair metal landscape, Dweezil still has enough of his Dad’s knack for quirky composition and unusual subject matter to ensure Confessions is an eclectic and diverse – and sometimes zany – ride.

Being the son of such an iconoclastic figure can’t have made it easy to go into the family business, but this is a truly exciting record: you might just need to give it a few spins to allow its quirky gems to properly sink in.

Like many of FZ’s albums, DZ mixes woulda-been hits back to back with obscure flights of fancy – but avoids the overtly sexual and kinky content of a lot of his Dad’s work.

From the instantly catchy (and environmentally friendly) Earth, the bluesy riff of Bad Girl and the whimsically pretty The Kiss, the album bounces into an excellent high-energy take on The Beatles’ Anytime At All.

Sister Moon Unit Zappa lends a songwriting credit and vocal to Vanity, which manages to be rock, pop and rap, all at the same time.

It’s guitarmaggedon time on Shoogagoogagunga, before a completely unexpectedly great cover of The Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive featuring a surprisingly raw and rocking vocal from none other than Donny Osmond: it’s enough to make you wonder why he hasn’t done more in this field. As if that wasn’t enough, the track also features solos from Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather, Warren DeMartini, Nuno Bettencourt and Tim Pierce.

Bettencourt, incidentally, co-produces the album with Dweezil, and his bandmates from Extreme pop up here and there along with Wylde, DeMartini and others.

Maybe Tonight is another gorgeously rendered and instantly memorable melody, and Pain Of Love takes The Dweez into Van Hagar territory.

The album closes with more six string wow-factor-ten. Obviously Influenced By The Devil is a string-busting tour de force, and Return Of The Son Of Shoogagoogagunga sees Dweezil in ‘musical comedy’ mode, mimicking 2 bedroom guitar heroes aping their favourite players. It’s a good time ending that fits right in with the Zappa sense of humour, and leaves you wanting more.

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

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