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Captain Beefheart - Bluejeans & Moonbeams CD (album) cover

BLUEJEANS & MOONBEAMS

Captain Beefheart

RIO/Avant-Prog


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4 stars I can never understand the people who slag off this album? It is actually a very beautiful and poignent moment in Beefheart's career in my opinion. I think people who knock it are either those who are not generally fans of beefhearts work, or those who would have prefered him to stick to his older, more off-the-wall type of style (more trout mask replica anyone?).

Ok, so the album is more accessible and less zany, so does this make it bad? I have only been in to Beefheart for about 3 years, but in this time I have been a big fan of spotlight kid, clear spot and a few other works of beefheart, and I listen to this album just as much as those and enjoy it no less.

So if you are yet to hear this then don't be put off by the many on-line reviews knocking this album. Give it a listen!

Report this review (#40042)
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars This should be one of the last Beefheart albums you purchase. There are a couple decent tunes, but the Cap'n just sounds uninspired here. I guess the music biz was just getting him down by this point -- he compromised and made a couple MOR-ish records of unchallenging music. "Unconditionaly Guaranteed" is far worse than this one, but pushes the sell-out angle so hard in some ways it's almost more interesting than this one (no, not really.) Just why the record companies though a mellower, watered-down Beefheart would sell when his full-on works didn't is a mystery to me.

"Observatory Crest" is actually one of CB's better "mainstream" numbers -- a nostalgic song about making out! But that's not why one generally listens to CB& his MB is it???

Mainly for Beefheart completists.

Report this review (#50534)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars I have to say that dog3000's review pretty much says everything I would have done. Observatory Crest is OK, fairly chilled but unspectacular. The rest is pretty forgettable and bland. I'm not a full-on Capain fan; try as I might I can't get into Trout Mask Replica but at least it has an edge and sounds like nothing else on earth.

There are far better albums by the Captain that bridge the gap between TMR and this (Clear Spot and Shiny Beast to name but two)

Report this review (#98290)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Bluejeans & Moonbeams" is one of the top 5 most underrated albums! Yeah, musically is totally different and less complex from, say, "Lick My Decails Off, Baby" or "Trout Mask Replica", but still is as good as those albums, in my humble opinion. It becamed one of my personal favourites from the Captain. It's true, there are some weak moments: the title-track is not my cup of tea, from instance, "Further Than We've Gone" is too much generic and repetitive to be a strong cut, and I've never been a fan of "Twist Ah Luck". But all the other cuts are very good! The Beefheart weird genius is still there, with the opener "Party Of Special Things To Do", which is a crazy rock bluesy song, co- written by Elliot Ingber, the first Mothers Of Invention guitar player. "Pompadur Swamp" and "Rock'N'Roll's Evil Doll" are both two funky numbers, but still in the vein of Beefheart. The first one is quiet, and the second is well-constructed and fast number. There's also a good rendition of JJ Cale's "Same Old Blues", which seems to work perfectly for Don's vocals. Many fans dislike "Captain's Holiday", but I don't... I think it's actually pretty cool and funny. The melody is very catchy, the guitar licks are cool, and Don is great with his harmonica. I love also the feminine vocals chanting "oooohh... Captain, Captain!". Hilarious! And, dulcis in fundi, there's also a masterpiece on this album, the quiet and riflessive "Observatory Crest", which works perfectly as a smooth and relaxing number. Great album and great music, so highly reacomended!
Report this review (#133533)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars If this site was swampbluesarchives.com I suspect this album would have a much higher rating. All but two of the tracks are nice swampy blues based songs, which lend themselves well to Don Van Vliet's raspy vocals. These songs, for what they are, are not bad at all. But hardly progressive. Or prog.

Now, for the remaining two tracks. These drag the album down. "Further Than We've Gone" is a bland ballad, where The Captain appears to be trying to become the next Joe Cocker. As if we needed another one. IMHO, thoseguys who sound like they are all screamed out, and just have little strands of decimated vocal cords left have no business trying to sing songs like this. Cocker, Stewart, Seger, all of you. Just stop. It doesn't work.

And on the title track, "Bluejeans & Moonbeams", Beefheart's voice doesn't sound so bad, but the song is so dry and maudlin, it bores to tears.

Just two stars, for lack of progness.

Report this review (#221969)
Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Generally I like blues. It means , that I can't hate this album.

Captain Beefheart recorded blues album with second-league musicians. His charisma didn't let to kill this album till death, but common feeling is sad enough. Music is very simplistic itself, and is played not at the high level of musicianship. Songs sound uninspired. Just imagine suburbs blues bar Thursday night's band.

Not to much moments there remind Capt.'s great early years. And it's sad... " Further Than We've Gone " is a ballade, almost with tears. Even more sad...

One of his worst works, happily this album is still not the end. Just Magic band missed it's magic for a while...

Report this review (#263318)
Posted Friday, January 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars There's been a lot of sustained kerfuffle and belligerent dismissal surrounding this record. As such, this was the last Beefheart album I listened to; after the cheerful banality of Unconditionally Guaranteed, I needed weightier meat. So it was on to the glories of Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), Doc at the Radar Station, and Ice Cream for Crow. Now, after having thoroughly digested those excellent records, I've come back for this last wandering stray album. What a delicious surprise!

I decided it was time for an investigation when a lovely vinyl of Bluejeans and Moonbeams appeared at the local record store. I bought it for 5.99 (plus tax), brought it home, plopped it on the turntable. I'll confess that I was immediately struck by the comparative simplicity of the record - lots of plodding 4/4 rhythms, little organ spirals, and seemingly insulting singalong passages. But something kept drawing me back. Now, as I sit here writing this review, I'm listening to the record over headphones and savoring every delicious track. Even the ill-advised and strung-out balladeering of Further Than We've Gone is music to my ears, albeit not perfect music. Ultimately that's the legacy of this album: an inferior recording for a legendary creative genius, but a stellar record by any other system of measurement.

I love Bluejeans and Moonbeams. I think it is very wrongfully decried and dismissed. Vliet's wordplay is frequently in full swing (She turned her head, You know what I mean, She turned it back), and his voice is in lovely form when it isn't being needlessly buried in the mix. That's the real crime of this record, something it has in common with the intensely frustrating Unconditionally Guaranteed - Beefheart's beautiful voice is often lost amid the shuffle of instrumentation. But muddy production values aside, this is a blues record of surpassing satisfaction. Not exactly progressive, but certainly a satisfying and completely competent slice of swamp rock with some drifting psychedelic influences. Listen to it, listen to it multiple times - this is great music, buried beneath the vaunted expectations of classic Beefheart worshipers.

Report this review (#465567)
Posted Monday, June 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars In principle, there's some tolerable music on this album. It happens when neither the Captain nor the backing singers are singing. (Yes, there are backing singers, and yes, it's a disaster. "Oooh, Captain Captain" is not something I ever want to hear on a Beefheart record.) With the entire Magic Band departing after Unconditionally Guaranteed, Bluejeans and Moonbeams sees the Captain fronting an all-new lineup, the much-derided Tragic Band. The thing is, they do a decent bluesy folk-rock backing - and then the Captain comes along and wrecks it by drawling out some of the most insipid lyrics he's produced. The album threatens to come alive with the opening number, Party of Special Things to Do, the only song displaying Beefheart's usual lyrical inventiveness, but even this is sabotaged by lacklustre production.

If it were all-instrumental, then maybe it'd merit two or three stars, but I have to give it one star simply because it's a badly thought-out album that was based on a fundamentally unworkable idea - making Captain Beefheart sing love songs in front of a soft rock band. Either go for the avant-garde audience and get some musicians in who can bring Beefheart's vision to life, or head for the mainstream - in which case Beefheart is the last person you want onboard. Build on a bad premise, end up with a [&*!#]ty album; it's that simple.

Report this review (#526591)
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2011 | Review Permalink

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