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Captain Beefheart - Safe As Milk CD (album) cover


Captain Beefheart



3.91 | 167 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I think with all first albums, you can have a lot of freedom. Especially in the 60's, where music was at times trying to be controlled and some bands just had to kind of give in to pressure and the current trends at the time. One prime example of this is The Moody Blues. Originally a Beatles rip off, after a flirtation with an orchestra, they really adopted their style and kind of sprouted the seeds for the prog genre. This album is an example of a very infantile album.

I think when comparing this to other classic albums from the 60's, e.g. Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Sgt. Peppers, Days Of Future Passed, it just doesn't match up. Even though the album is pretty ground breaking for its time, in comparison to some experiments in the 60's, it's just not as impressive.

One of the major negatives for me is the blues influence throughout. Now I can't stand blues most of the time. It's boring, repetitive, and portrays an emotion which is just too bland for my liking (now Tchaikovsky's Pathetique?that's real emotion). Now I will admit, this isn't too bluesy, but at times the bluesy bits ruin it. Granted there are some more experimental and psychedelic tracks, but even then, they're a bit too much of a novelty (if they were a parody, like the songs on Zappa's We're Only In It For The Money, then maybe this album would have been a bit more successful).

This is a good album nonetheless. The real positives at times is the musicians and Beefheart himself. His vocals are always top notch, and the arrangements and lyrics are always interesting to hear. The guitar work of young Ry Cooder is also pretty cool too. There are some weak moments on the album, but overall, it is a great album

1. Sure 'Nuff Yes I Do - Now I really don't like blues. But this I'm not too bad with. Still not my style, but hey, it's Captain Beefheart. I love the jauntyness towards the end of the song. 6/10

2. Zig Zag Wanderer - Ok, now this is what I love about the 60's. Jangly guitars, and an overall sense of fun. Quite reminiscent of early Pink Floyd at times. 9/10

3. Call On Me - A bit too much of a standard 60's jangly pop song. And maybe a bit too bluesy for my liking. 5/10

4. Dropout Boogie - I love when Beefheart sings in this evil raspy voice. The instrumental section is pretty cool too, and very odd to hear during the 60's. The lyrics are pretty cool, and maybe a bit odd. 8/10

5. I'm Glad - Best song on the album, and maybe one of my favourite Captain Beefheart tracks. The falsetto vocals are a bit cheesy, but to be honest it really is nice and pretty. Maybe this was Beefheart's way of trying to achieve a top 10 hit or something (a bit like Frank Zappa's doo wopp album), but this song is 10 times more interesting and successful than that whole album. Beefheart's vocals also are full of emotion and are really raw, which really reflects the emotion of the song (although at times there is very Procol Harum moments, especially in the vocals). 10/10

6. Electricity - The kind of blues I can stand. Basically blues with a backbone really to try out new things. There is some even jazzy moments in the song. The use of guitar really is something to be marvelled at (especially how Ry Cooder makes those noises). Love the raspiness of Beefhearts vocals as well. 8/10

7. Yellow Brick Road - A bit like a country parody. Now I hate country, but I actually really like this song. I love the melody of the verse. It's so easy, yet so memorable. 9/10

8. Abba Zaba - It is a bit silly, but it does work. The silly lyrics are memorable and they do stick in your head, in fact you'll probably sing along to this song soon after listening to it. The use of almost gibberish does add a rhythmic edge to the song. 8/10

9. Plastic Factory - I really hate the use of harmonica in blues. In fact it's the worst part of this song. The best part is obviously Beefhearts vocals. I just really don't like blues. The instrumental section does make the song more interesting, I have to admit. 4/10

10. Where There's A Woman - Pretty interesting instrumental work and a nice arrangement. Their's something very gospel about this song too. Pretty cool chorus too. 8/10

11. Grown So Ugly - Even though the lyrics are pretty funny, the song is a bit too bluesy for my liking. Still not too bad though. 5/10

12. Autumn's Child - I like the dramatic nature of the song. Maybe a bit too "silly psychedalia," but meh it's a pretty fun song. 7/10

CONCLUSION: Don't get me wrong, this is still a highly enjoyable album, it's just at moments, it's just not my thing. The 60's music for me at times can be touch and go. In fact theirs only a few albums from this era that I would admit I love. A great album, but we all knew better things were to come.


arcane-beautiful | 3/5 |


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