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Captain Beefheart - The Spotlight Kid CD (album) cover

THE SPOTLIGHT KID

Captain Beefheart

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.27 | 47 ratings

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Syzygy
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Following the double whammy of Trout Mask Replica and the even freakier Lick My Decals Off Baby, Captain Beefheart returned to a somewhat more conventional blues/rock sound. This may well have been motivated by a desire to make some money - his innovative dadaisitc fusion of free jazz and delta blues may have wowed the critics but it didn't exactly storm up the charts.

The Spotlight Kid is by no means a bad album, but is tame stuff by Beefheart's standards. There are a few stand out tracks, but too much of it sees Beefheart and the Magic Band coasting where they should be flying. Blabber and Smoke is an enviromentalist rant against those who talk but never act, and is perhaps more pertinent today than it was 30 years ago. Art Tripp adds some excellent marimba to this song, and it is his contributions that really stand out on this album. Alice in Blunderland is an instrumental that allows the band a chance to cut loose and has some imaginative interplay between marimba and slide guitar. Click Clack is a piano driven take on a train blues song, and There Ain't No Santa Claus On The Evening Stage is a slice of vintage Beefheart weirdness. Otherwise it's a low key and slightly depressing album,.

3.5 stars if you're already a Beefheart fan, but not recommended to newcomers. It's available as a twofer with the vastly superior Clear Spot, which is probably the best way to pick this up on CD.

Syzygy | 3/5 |

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