Trout Mask Replica
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Top Customer Reviews
Nonetheless, I truly think this will be one of the albums that survives the twentieth century. I think people will still be listening to this in a few hundred years when the concept of music changes and dissonance and staggering rhythms are as harmonious as the choir in the fifth plane of heaven. Rock has produced nothing like this up to this point. Nothing with this sense of exploration and personal vision. Nothing as playful, nothing as fun. Nothing that stretches the boundaries of what people think of as 'rock music.'
I don't think 21st century music listeners in America are ready for this. To truly appreciate this album for what it is you need to have a different definition of music and rhythm from the norm. No words will prepare you for how jarring it is. Your friends will hate you, people will think you're insane or on drugs (Beefheart, by the way, was not a drug user even in the early 1970s). My girlfriend still won't allow me to play it when she's home. People plain wonder what's wrong with me. Why would I listen to such tripe? Such ridiculous trash?
The answer is that if you're one of those like myself that discover what's in this music, you simply can't stop listening. It's not for arty reasons, or reasons of influence (I could care less who Beefheart influenced, to be honest), or showing off my tolerance. There really is something here for those who can find it. I get more and more from every listen.
I forced myself to listen to it, once, all four sides -- hell, I'd paid good money for it. Caveat emptor, I thought to myself, and put it away for several years.
Then, when I was listening to Bongo Fury by Frank Zappa, which rapidly became one of my favourites, I recognized that voice, reciting the wierd poetry. I listened to Trout Mask Replica again.
I don't know how I missed it the first time -- not musically sophisticated enough, I guess -- but they were one of the tightest bands I'd ever heard.
You will not tap your foot to Trout Mask Replica, nor will you dance to it. But, if you can get your head around the oblique, sometimes obnoxious changes and time signatures (in some songs there are a number of simultaneous time signatures), you will never be the same.
The bass, at times, sounds like a drunk falling downstairs, but in tight rhythmic harmony with the drums. They just never miss.
This is extremely challenging music. This is not music for people who want to think about or do something else while they're listening to it. But it is for people who enjoy the unusual, and appreciate the whole notion of anti-pop.
So let me clear this up: You are not necessarily an MTV-watching mainstream drone for hating this album. By the same token, enjoying Trout Mask Replica hardly makes you a Mensa member (that said, you probably are more interested in "out-there," non-conformist music if you are in the latter camp). This album is strictly an acquired taste, and that's how the Captain intended, I think. I enjoy plenty of weird stuff--Zappa, The Boredoms, some RIO prog, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Zorn, etc. along with quite a bit of abstract jazz and fusionized metal; and after multiple listens I still find this album to be pretty exhausting, especially in one sitting where 2 LPs of this material tends to become obnoxious after a while. It probably would've been better as a single record.
I don't hate the Captain for making this album. For better or worse, it's interesting, and both a product of its era (in that it seems to be psychedelic in a rather odd sort of way) and yet exploits musical idioms that were unheard of in rock during its time. The free-jazz-meets-Delta-blues-at-a-postmodern-poetry-slam sound of Trout Mask Replica is rather unique. There's plenty of abstract rhythmic ideas going on--it all sounds rather stupid at first, but Beefheart actually intended it to sound this way, and the Magic Band practiced for nearly a year trying to hammer these compositions out. So, you can't call it "amateurish" or "incompetent." These guys knew what they were doing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm giving this album 5 stars to offset the many one star reviews. I think it deserves a cumulative rating of at least 4 stars. Read morePublished 22 days ago by AcousticWarrior
And out of a blue felt box there escaped
one yellow butterfly the same size.
Its droppings were tiny green phosphorous worms
that moved in tuck and roll
and... Read more
I had to write a review for this. Seeing the average rating on here is very disheartening. Don't be lead astray by the rating. Don't let all the 1 star reviews fool you. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Clint Beed
The first time I played this I thought, what the hell was that? Years later I played it in my car (alone) on a drive in the countryside. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Buyer of CDs/DVDs &amp; BluRays
Great Captain Beefheart Double Lp on Red Vinyl is a collectors dream! This package is one of the best I've ever bought through Amazon. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Philip Cucinella
Trout Mask Replica (1969) is an avant-garde/free jazz album that has polarized listeners for decades. Some say it's a work of genius while others dismiss it as a cacophonous mess. Read morePublished 3 months ago by mc1382
This album is all kinds of weird and I like it. I picked this up as a blind buy when it was on sale. Since then, I have spun it many times and it has really grown on me. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Clint