A great, sprawling, discordant work of genius--TROUT MASK REPLICA gives the lie to the frequent criticism that all double albums are exercises in self indulgence. Or perhaps in Captain Beefheart's case it's impossible to separate the self indulgence from the meaningful art--certainly the pieces you may feel on first listening to be the most excessively obscure are those that keep you coming back for more.Embedded in this influential, messy, confusing yet brilliant enterprise are a plethora of sui generis gems such as "Ella Guru" and "Neon Meate Dream of a Octafish," though "China Pig" with its electric blues accompaniment finds Beefheart harking back to his Howlin' Wolf roots, and "Well" is similarly rooted in old Southern work songs--though obviously as sung by Salvador Dali. The sound is by turns murky, amateurish, and compellingly powerful. The Magic Band churns and twists under the Captain's direction, and on tracks such as "When Big Joan Sets Up," rocks as fiercely as Cecil Taylor. But be warned--after hearing TROUT MASK REPLICA, you'll never be able to listen to music in quite the same way again.