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Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica CD (album) cover


Captain Beefheart



3.74 | 343 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is a masterpiece, yet it can be difficult to see it as a masterpiece. Some say this is an acuired taste and i would partly agree. This was my first taste of Captain Beefheart and i wasn't very optimistic, yet when i listened to it i instantly fell in love with this record. i thought it was incredibly weird and that some of these tracks were just outrageous, very good but sometimes it was like "what the hell is this?". After more listens this album has revealed its hidden beauty to me. I believe that Captain Beefheart and his incredible Magic Band have created a piece of subtle genius here. It took me about 3 or 4 full listens to realise that behind all the weirdness and obscenity, there is an incredible fusion of jazzy blues, amazing vocals, great guitar work and plain weirdness. Captain Beefheart is a musical genius, yet his talents can be hard to find. This record however revealed to me all the things that make him so great, i have heard a few more records after this that amazed me but trout mask replica took his skills to the maximum.

28 tracks, it can be a mouthful but the album flows together really well. Frank Zappa did an excellent job on the production. Although it seems like a slap together collection of songs, you can actually start to admire how much care they have taken over making this album. The flow of the album is often interrupted by strange recording conversations, often entertaining. I dont think this takes anything away from the album. The main genius here is solely in the amazing compositions, fused with great jazz and blues, a traditional bluesy voice gets its spotlight with the incredibly weird lyrics. The prog arangements are definetly there and this helps the album to flow incredible well. These are the things that make "Trout Mask Replica" a masterpiece.

The standout tracks on this album are, in my humble opinion, "Frownland", a weird intro that follows one set path and kicks off as soon as you press play, an odd intro to such an epic album, especially one of prog rock as it has no kind of build up. This put me off a little at first but after hearing the rest of the album i found it to be quite clever. "The Dust Blows Forward and the Dust Blows Back" has no music, just a record skipping, yet i still loved it. "Ella Guru" is the first really amazing piece, showing off great fusion. "Hair Pie: Bake 1" has amazing saxaphone doodles followed by some amazing guitar, continuing into "Moonlight on Vermont". "My Human Gets Me Blues" is one of my favourites on the album, it sounds a bit more normal and better structured than the rest, i think its good to have the odd normal sounding song to keep the listener appealed. "Pena" is a classic, probably my favourite song on the album. It starts off with Captain Beefheart and The Mascara Snake talking about "Fast n Bulbous" (a common occurance throughout this album). This leads into one big rackett with a crazy voice rambling on about weirdness. It is brilliant and slightly humorous. "Well" and "When Big Joan Sits Up" keep the flow going brilliantly. Towards the close of the album, "She's Too Much for my Mirror", "The Blimp (mousetrapreplica)" and "Old Fart Play" stand as the essential tracks.

This is an album that will go down well with fans of experimental music, spacey psychadelic music, acid rock fans, RIO fans, blues fans, jazz fans and fusion fans. If you think it is good, yet challenging and completely weird at first then just give it a few more tries and hopefully you will fall in love with the guitar and jazz qualities like i did. This is definetly a masterpiece. One of the most daring pieces of music ever made as well as one of the most interestingly produced and strangely composed albums ive ever heard.

frenchie | 5/5 |


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