There is so much dross around. Virtually all popular music ambles around middle c, 4/4 rythm and "I love and I am in the dark" type lyrics. Completely peurile stuff. Yep, a lot of the stuff that youth produce is "wallpaper" or Cultural Babyfood.
If we were to use visual analogies with music, then "Strictly Personal" is the "David" of youth music. It stands solid and uncompromising in your living room - "cheese in the corner with a mile long beard", so there you go.
I was always under the impression this was the definitive Beefheart Album, but I heard that Don Van Vliet freaked when it was over-produced with the then state of the art gizmos "what the hell, what the heck". This album is brilliant from beginning to end, it has the personality and solidity of dirty granite.
The guitar playing is completely gutsy and rootsy. "Ah feel like Ahcid" has such a satisfying guitar sound. I can't help feeling that this is where Keith Richards thought "Oh, yes!" and so shaped his future guitar playing. The lyrics are pure, simple and banal "flash chicken legs".
"Safe as Milk". Rock music. You could just imagine this being played live booming out over the speakers. "Gracious Ladies bi-lines hanging on to vine". This track makes the band into a juggernaut, just laying waste to anything that stands in its way.
"Trust us". Psychedelia abounds in this. I can Don Van Vliets point here; but then the production makes the sound what it is. Rythmically, it just chops and changes and you wonder what the hell is going on, but then the final passage splendidly completes things.
"Mirror Man". Like the opening guitar riff. Van Vliet ladling voice over the music "mirrrrrrroooooooooor...mirrrrrroooor..." Guitars, bass and drums turn into huge percussive heart over which Van Vliet gives an indistinguishable of harp and vocals. I really like the final gasp of harp at the end of the track.
This is only half of the story, play on...