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


Captain Beefheart



3.76 | 392 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This is one of the most debated albums of the popular music history. It is hailed as the weirdest album of all time and just as often cursed as the weirdest album of all time. It is the favourite album of Simpsons creator Matt Groening and it is also one of my all time favourites. I knew the controversial reputation of this album and decided to buy it after reading about its rather chaotic recording process from Frank Zappa's autrobiography The real Frank Zappa book. I am a huge Frank Zappa fan by the way. And unlike many others I fell in love with Trout mask replica immediately. It took just one listening. This is definately along with Frank Zappa's Uncle meat the most original album in rock music history in my opinion.

While I agree about statements of this album's originality I disagree about Trout mask replica being a total cacophony and the least listenable album of all time. In my opinion modern death metal is much more cacophonic than any music on Trout mask replica. This isn't improvisational music folks. The music on Trout mask replica is tightly structured. The structures and arrangements are just radically different from traditional rock or pop. Every instrument has a rich life of its own while in the same time contributing into the whole. If you have more jazzy background you might understand this music better. Especially if you're into free jazz.

Captain Beefheart's voice is one of those 'love it or or hate it' voices of rock 'n' roll. His voice definately has either positive or negative impact on you. It doesn't leave you cold. His voice is bluesy, wacky and extremely weird, especially on this album. He is actually one of my favourite singers and one of the few singers who can make poetry reading without any music background sound good. The dust blow forward and the dust blows back and Orange claw hammer are good examples of this.

Even on this album there are some easier moments but definately not commercial ones. Moonlight on Vermont for example has a quite hard rock like riffery but in much more complicated way than any hard rock band could pull off. Captain Beefheart's voice is just powerfully soaring on this one. It is like a lightning from the sky. This song has huge intensity and I think this is probably a better headbanging song than almost any heavy metal classic. And section where Captain sings, ''Gimme an old time religion it's good enough for me'', is just mezmerizing. Another easier moment on the album is Veteran's day Poppy which has a a haunting, flowing and beautiful melody. Other highlights include Pachuco Cadaver, Steal softly thru snow, Ant man bee and Sweet sweet bulbs.

Lyrics are often image stream like and contain complex symbolics and extremely wacky imagery. They may seem very random and abstract. But I think the point of the lyrics is create surrealistic atmospheres by using striking images. I am planning to take a deeper look inside the lyrics but I get already that they seem to paint a picture about a hectic and insane world from insecure and sexually exhausted person's point of view.

Bottom line is this a perfect combination of modern poetry and experimental music. And should be owned by everyone who loves weird music.

PurpleCobra | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this CAPTAIN BEEFHEART review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.