zdbd – You Didn’t Try to Call Me

A lost-love song featuring impressively quick vocals on the title part, and inventive patterns throughout. The sparse production supports the main vocal line with heavy, warm bass and a rocky beat. This tune has a rare absence of vibraphone, focusing instead on an authentic early rock ‘n’ roll sound, which is counteracted by the injection of instrumental orchestration as the chorus grows, which brings more life to the production as the song progresses.

The bridge has rich vocals and builds the tension with the orchestra before dropping back to a stripped-down theme, resonating all the more when the chorus returns with Mexican-style trumpet behind it and a lush, big band.

Zappa’s nasal-voice character breaks in again for the outro, as though this song continues directly on from Wowie Zowie, though his love has now been spurned. His complaints about ‘going steady’ summon images of cruising in the 50s as the song fades away.

zdbd – How Could I Be Such a Fool

I love the rhythm of the vocals in this tune, with the sad, dark bass, the light click on the high-hat, the xylophone; it opens with such mood. When the rest of the band joins the tune, I’m less interested, somehow; the arpeggio on the guitar, maybe, loses me.

The drop into the chorus sounds great, though, with the gloomy brass band and the thumping heartbeat on the kick drum. The rhythm of the lyrics, too, is neat, staccato. The post-chorus builds into the verse, motivating a mournful trumpet that sounds like it wandered up from Old Mexico. The finger-style bass is perfect, supporting the vocals thoroughly.

Soon, the song builds to a languid ending, each instrument hanging on the note, until the drums bring us out and home.