zdbd – I Ain’t Got No Heart

Strong psychedelic vibe, the second song on Freak Out!, I Ain’t Got No Heart features orchestral production that lends the song grandiosity as it builds. The vocals are clear and smooth, with a deep backing vocal that sounds like it might be Zappa singing at the bottom of his range. The arpeggios on the guitar are clean and quick, perpetual throughout the song, though they’re low in the mix.

The song itself has a slightly cheesy, to my ear, 50s style rock and roll vibe – which makes perfect sense, given the era and Zappa’s myriad influences. More doo wop and early rock is coming my way, there’s no question there.

The bridge is cool, with heavy percussion and the distorted guitar, playing sharp stings on the offbeat, offers some quick licks at the end of each measure.

The building orchestra keeps the song fresher, as it’s the same basic couple of parts repeated. Some nice reverb on the xylophone comes in, the trumpets pick up.

All this builds to a wild breakdown just before the end of the song. 14 seconds out, the orchestra explodes, and we hear the sick, splattering vocals that will become familiar as we explore the catalogue. After only a few seconds, though, the brass is back in top form, and the melody closes us out.