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Pierre Boulez commissioned The Perfect Stranger, which is the showpiece of the album. It, along with Dupree's Paradise, are performed by the Ensemble InterContemporain, conducted by Boulez. Together, they take up more than half of the album. They are contemporary Classical works that sound like some of the great works of the post-war period, yet they maintain Zappa's unmistakable personality without straying into the territory of gag and silliness, that characterized most of his pop œuvre.
Surprising, too, are Frank Zappa's five electronic works that fill out the remainder of the album. These, too, bear up to some of the great works that have come out of IRCAM and a listener could easily be misled into thinking that these were composed by Pierre Henry or Luc Ferrari. Only one of the compositions, Outside Now Again, sounds rather more like pop music.
The sound quality throughout is crystal clear; Boulez's conducting is unmistakably exacting; Zappa pulls it off. What disappoints is that the album is so short, at only a little over 36 minutes, and that, while the cover proclaims "Boulez conducts Zappa", Boulez conducts only two of the works. Still, this is an outstanding album.