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Captain Beefheart - Safe As Milk CD (album) cover

SAFE AS MILK

Captain Beefheart

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.87 | 122 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars This is a difficult task

Reading the liner notes from the remastered edition of "Safe As Milk", it is no wonder that the music on this record sounds odd (to say the least). Being completely unfamiliar with this "special" style of music, it is my opinion that a listener could hardly deliver comprehensive thoughts on this album.

While the album maintains a clear 60's sound and approach, it is apparent that there is something uncommon or different about this band. I could almost describe the music as eclectic blues (if there is such a description). Vliet's vocals are interesting and quite diverse. Similarly diverse is the mood from track to track - it can vary from (surprisingly) soft and catchy tunes like I'm Glad (fantastic vocal performance) to bizarre, avant-garde boogies like Dropout Boogie. The first half of the album is focused to more standard blues patterns with the opening track being a memorable country/blues tune.

While Yellow Brick Road sticks to a similar pleasant country/blues pattern, side b of the album is slightly more adventurous. ABBA Zaba is a bizarre tribal-rhythm based track with some great rhythm section performance that shows the band's diversity. Oddly, the highlights of the album lay within the mellower and most sophisticated compositions like Where there's Woman and Autumn's Child. Both these compositions show progressive elements and changes in tempo and mood.

The bonus tracks take the experimentation a step further and mainly consist of instrumental compositions with high doses of improvisation. The overall package should appeal to fans of bizarre/avant-garde blues-based music with a strong 60s feeling. I would be reluctant to recommend this to a "new-starter" in this genre (like myself), but there are moments of sheer quality and musicianship that could appeal to any prog fan. Similarly there are eclectic moments that could make this an indifferent debut, so I would proceed with caution.

aapatsos | 3/5 |

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