Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Mirror Man Sessions (2LP)
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The Mirror Man Sessions features the complete remastered contents of Mirror Man, albeit in a resequenced running order, and fills out the rest of the CD with a number of bonus tracks taken from additional recordings, both finished and unfinished, made around the same time for what would have been a double album titled It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper. As a listening experience, the package will appeal more to those who value the instrumental Beefheart; the Mirror Man album is, of course, essentially a 50-plus-minute jam session, containing as it does only four songs, and the bonus tracks -- many of which appeared on the One Way label's reissue of Safe as Milk -- mostly consist of jams and instrumentals which push the boundaries of conventional blues-rock, with a Beefheart vocal tossed in here and there. Some may miss Beefheart's surreal poetry, gruff vocals, and/or free jazz influence, while others may find it fascinating to hear the Magic Band simply letting go and cutting loose.