Les Claypool

Live Frogs: Set 2

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If it takes serious chutzpa to play a legendary band's classic album live in its entirety, what type of cojones are required to record said performance and release it on your own label? That's precisely what the Flying Frogs' frontman Les Claypool has done with Live Frogs: Set 2, paying homage to Pink Floyd's dazzling (but underrated) 1977 conceptual epic, Animals. And although purists may bristle at the mere thought, it's actually not half-bad. Sure, it's a bit strange to hear Claypool's nasal twang tackling the pastoral balladry of "Pigs on the Wing," but when his crack ensemble launches into their sizzling version of the 14-minute "Dogs," all is soon forgiven. The sound stays surprisingly faithful to the original songs, making the album sound more like the work of a tribute band (albeit the greatest one since Phish covered Quadrophenia) than musicians best known for innovative bands like Primus, Ratdog, and Tuatara. But open-minded Floyd fans will realize that Claypool's imitation is the sincerest form of hero worship -- er, flattery.

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