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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica CD (album) cover


Captain Beefheart



3.74 | 321 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Equality 7-2521
4 stars Not the safest album you can buy if you're concerned about your mental health. Captain Beefheart AKA Don Van Vilet, musical genius to some and paranoid schizophrenic with a guitar to others, teams up with Frank Zappa (who produces the album) to create one of the most controversial masterpieces in progressive rock. Even for the most time honored prog fan this one won't be easy to digest. Don't come expecting symphonic prog, or any other genre, this here is pure avant-garde, free rolling jazz and blues at its absolute quirkiest.

Though for the first week of listening it may sound a jumbled mess of drunken teenagers banging on their instruments in a garage, further listens will reveal that anything this beautifully chaotic had to be rehearsed to death. After awhile the songs will transfer from confusion to genius with some even being downright catchy, "Frownland" and "Ella Guru."

Not aiding the accessibility of the musical cacophony is the quirky voice and surrealist poetry of Don Van Vilet. His voice resembles that of a coked up homeless man singing for pennies on a street corner, but it fits the musically perfectly and even develops its own strange charm after long enough. His poetry is something I'm still getting used to. I find it comical and genuinely fun but if there is any deeper meaning in it I'm still searching for it. The purely spoken passages are the only times this album drags, but those moments don't last long enough to detract from this album's overall quality. Quite simply this must be in every prog fans collection, if you're willing to put in the time, this will be one of the most rewarding musical journeys you'll embark upon. The album will surprise you with each passing second, and that unfortunately is a rarity.

Equality 7-2521 | 4/5 |


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