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You Are What You Is

You Are What You Is by Frank Zappa
Released: Sep 1981
Even the most hardcore of Zappa fans are divided over their hero's early-'80s output. Those who love the intense outsider/freak streak in his work from the previous two decades have a hard time dealing with just how normal it feels. You Are What You Is, released towards the end of 1981, very much reflects this issue. If you fail to pay close attention to the satirical lyrics, the majority of its cuts sound like straight-ahead pop-rock from the '80s. "Doreen," for example, veers dangerously close to becoming the very thing it mocks: power-ballad cheese a la Eddie Money and Night Ranger.
Justin Farrar
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