released June 22nd, 2010

from the album - Inca Roads

from all music

Son of Frank Zappa and a heavy metal disciple of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai, Dweezil released his first album, Havin' a Bad Day, in 1986. He worked a stint as a VJ on MTV, appeared in the films Pretty in Pink and The Running Man, and had a brief sojourn in TV situation comedy with his sister Moon Unit, on 1988-1989's Normal Life. Dweezil also issued his second album, My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama, in 1988, following it in 1991 with Confessions, and subsequently took a break from solo recording. He worked in television for a time, composing the theme song to the sadly short-lived Ben Stiller Show and voicing the character of Ajax on the brilliant USA Network animated series Duckman. He next formed the band Z with brother Ahmet on vocals; the group released two albums together: 1994's Shampoohorn and 1996's Music for Pets. In addition to his work as a session guitarist, Zappa busied himself with Happy Hour ( a TV show for the USA Network which debuted in 1999 and was co-hosted with Ahmet ), and his first solo album in nine years, 2000s mostly instrumental Automatic. Following this, Dweezil fell back out of the public eye and re-dedicated himself to learning guitar, changing his style a bit and adopting many of his father's picking techniques. In 2005, he assembled a crack band of younger players and recruited FZ alumni Steve Vai, Terry Bozzio, and Napoleon Murphy Brock for the critically acclaimed Zappa Plays Zappa tour which hit the road in the summer of 2006. The band (with Brock ostensibly as the frontman) performed an entire program of Frank Zappa compositions with Vai and Bozzio appearing as guests and Dweezil himself as lead guitarist/bandleader. Between legs of that tour, he released Go with What You Know, easily his most ambitious album to date. A studio version and DVD of Zappa Plays Zappa appeared in 2008 with a live album from the project -- Return of the Son Of... -- following in 2010.

album review

Having apparently given up on the idea of having a solo career outside his father's shadow, Dweezil Zappa has taken to touring with a project he calls Zappa Plays Zappa, which is exactly what it sounds like: an evening of Frank Zappa music, played by his son and a band of talented if relatively faceless pros. From a purely musical standpoint, this stuff is excellent; Zappa junior is a ferocious guitarist, and he and the band know the material inside and out. There's also another tie to the prior generation, given that vocalist Ray White (who worked with Frank for years) sings on most tracks here. The songs mostly span the '70s and '80s, including "Broken Hearts Are for Assholes," "King Kong," "The Torture Never Stops," and "Montana," among others. When the band is doing instrumental material, Return of the Son Of is excellent, because the music is complex and fascinating, and they play it very, very well, Dweezil Zappa in particular. It's the vocal numbers that drag the disc down, because Zappa senior, as a lyricist, was far too willing to wallow in juvenile scatology and/or sociopolitical ramblings that weren't nearly as interesting or iconoclastic as he thought. But that stuff is a relatively small segment of what's here, so even non-Zappa cultists can find plenty to enjoy on this double disc.

Track Listing

1 The Deathless Horsie Zappa 6:16
2 Andy Zappa 6:48
3 Magic Fingers Zappa 3:29
4 Broken Hearts Are For Assholes Zappa 3:36
5 Bamboozled By Love Zappa 6:44
6 King King Zappa 20:54
7 Montana Zappa 6:46
8 Inca Roads Zappa 12:04
9 The Torture Never Stops Zappa 13:11
10 Dirty Love Zappa 2:59
11 Zomby Woof Zappa 8:26
12 Billy the Mountain Zappa 27:33
13 Camarillo Brillo Zappa 3:52
14 Pygmy Twylyte Zappa 11:06