Cruising with Ruben & the Jets

The Mothers of Invention - Cruising with Ruben & the Jets
Critic Score
Based on 3 reviews
1968 Ratings: #78 / 87
User Score
Based on 45 ratings
November 1968 / Release Date
LP / Format
Verve, Bizarre / Label
- / Genres
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Probably the only Frank Zappa album that I'm not going to try and write an extensive review for, and most definitely the only Mothers album that I genuinely couldn't give less of a shit about. In Cruising With Ruben & The Jets, Zappa and The Mothers make a proper doo-wop album. No, not as a satirization of the genre like you would expect after hearing an album as critical of popular music as We're Only In It For The Money, but a genuine doo-wop album.

Before anyone says anything, no, it's ... read more
The Mothers make an album intended to satirise the doo-wop genre but nail the genre so well that it just sounds like a normal doo-woo album. It’s interesting at first, but gets tiresome after 13 songs.
'Cruising with Ruben & the Jets' was Zappa & The Mothers' fifth work, recorded between December 1967 and February 1968. It's a concept album about fictional doo-wop band Ruben & The Jets, and the whole thing is in this same style, mixed with rhythm & blues. It is lovely, a real well-made tribute to the 50s music, and I think that deep down Frank came up with this idea to relieve himself and the people by reminding them of simpler times, considering that America was a mess by the ... read more
Luckily it was intended to be terrible.
Zappa's attempt at making bad doo wop music is perhaps too successful. Coming after We're Only In It For the Money, an superb experimental project which filtered 60s popular culture through muddy water and dirt specked windows, the much simpler Ruben somehow feels more distant and intellectual. Good satire hits at the heart, but Ruben is skin deep - a collection of repackaged tropes that seldom amount to anything more than a genre exercise.
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Track List

  1. Cheap Thrills
  2. Love of My Life
  3. How Could I Be Such a Fool?
  4. Deseri
  5. I'm Not Satisfied
  6. Jelly Roll Gum Drop
  7. Anything
  8. Later That Night
  9. You Didn't Try to Call Me
  10. Fountain of Love
  11. No. No. No.
  12. Any Way the Wind Blows
  13. Stuff Up the Cracks
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Added on: April 21, 2015