Arf, she said.
As the last official studio album by the Mothers, One Size Fits All is a fitting farewell. It does as good a job as a forty minute album could, and thank God it’s not a double, at encapsulating just how far the Mothers could go in that it features sprawling instrumentals, straight-ahead rock tunes, goofy spoken word bits, etc. The album is successful to a large degree. The song suite that opens side two is great. Florentine Pogen is the kind of weird lyric you expect from Zappa, Evelyn, a Modified Dog is the rare spoken word/joke track that I actually really like and San Ber’dino is a rocking good time. There are moments when I appreciate the breadth of Zappa and that song suite has a great example, when Zappa snaps the final line of Evelyn, a Modified Dog (“Arf, she said”) and then San Ber’dino just bursts out of the gate with all the energy of a great rock song. Other things are less effective; the Sofa tracks do nothing for me and some of the other stuff is basically just okay. Inca Roads is a great album opener, but it certainly overstays its welcome. But the same can’t be said for the album as a whole, which, for an album with five tracks over five minutes in length, really goes by quickly. One Size Fits All isn’t a knockout, but it’s a solid record. 3 stars.
tl;dr – occasionally brilliant, mostly solid album is likably broad without being overlong; entertaining in the moment, but only a few bits will stay with you; not superlative, but good. 3 stars.