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Captain Beefheart - Safe As Milk CD (album) cover


Captain Beefheart



3.91 | 168 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars As Beefheart's plaintive moan emerges over a wavering guitar line at the start of Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes I Do you can instantly tell you're in for something different; when the full band kicks in, it's confirmed. The Captain's debut album is a collection of wild, fuzzy, psych-driven blues and blues-drenched psychedelia.

So much could be written about this album, but I'll refrain from doing a track by track review to just cover a few standout tracks. The driving Zig Zag Wanderer is ridiculously energetic (and actually kind of danceable). Dropout Boogie combines some of the fuzziest, heaviest rock music to date with some bizarrely out of place (in terms of how tranquil they are) musical breaks. The standard is similarly high for most of the other songs; the only blot on the trackklist, for me, is I'm Glad - a sappy ballad that doesn't quite suit Beefheart's vocal delivery or the context of the album, but at least it's followed by the unparalleled classic Electricity, which sums up all the foreboding, ominous, and incredibly strange qualities of the album and delivers it in one menacing but catchy package.

At this point in their career Beefheart and the Magic Van still had perceptible links to contemporary trends in music, rather than existing in the Captain's own weird dimension as on Trout Mask Replica, so this is one of the best ways to dabble in Beefheart's work before taking the plunge into less approachable work. And even for Beefheart veterans who've heard everything else, it's more than worth a listen. Autumn's Child, the album closer, never fails to make my hair stand on end when I hear it; like the rest of the songs (I'm Glad excepted), it's as fresh today as it ever was. This milk doesn't go sour.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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