Beck Reviews

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Colors

Review Euphoric 2017 album from Grammy Award winning US maestro serving up kaleidoscopic pop nuggets alongside retro-futuristic funk jams! Includes 'Dear Life' & 'Dreams'.
Masseduction

Review Morning Phase is true to its title: the beginning of yet another amazing chapter in Beck's peerless career and catalogue. Featuring musicians who have backed him on many of his most acclaimed albums, as well as the current live shows widely hailed as the best of his career (Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner), Morning Phase harkens back to the stunning harmonies, song craft and staggering emotional impact of Beck's most classic ballads, all the while surging forward with undeniable optimism.
Morning Phase

Review BECK SEA CHANGE
Pacific Daydream

Review Beck is bummed. Really bummed. And if song titles such as "Lost Cause," "Lonesome Tears," "Already Dead," and "Nothing I Haven't Seen" don't make the point, his achingly sad lyrics and Sea Change's unerringly downcast sound do. While 1998's Mutations--arguably the singer-songwriter's masterwork and Sea Change's spiritual cousin--was filled with unflinching self-examination, moments of levity were found in songs like "Tropicalia." Not so on Sea Change. Beck's woozy, almost narcoleptic delivery seems to amplify the set's sense of ennui. But sad isn't necessarily bad, and despite the somber tone, there's much to praise, not the least of which is the return of producer Nigel Goderich (Mutations, Radiohead), who wraps Beck's gloom in a dreamy, warm blanket of soft strings and floating bleeps and gurgles. Like Daniel Lanois, Goderich is all about vibe, and even Beck's most bare-bones songs benefit from billowy atmospherics. That's especially true of "Paper Tiger," a restless, slowly building epic improbably propelled by a languid orchestra and Beck's expressionless drone. The inky black feel of "Round the Bend"--a glacially slow dirge with muffled vocals--may be the darkest thing Beck's ever written, not counting the very grim "Already Dead." Whatever's going on in Beck's world, at least we know he's purging, which, all things considered, may be better for his soul than ours. --Kim Hughes
Carry Fire

Review Beck ~ Odelay
Lotta Sea Lice

Review Beck brags here that he's "got two turntables and a microphone." He also has a sweeping aesthetic that sees no reason why musical allusions to hip-hop, the Beatles, James Brown, punk, Gram Parsons, cool jazz, and Dylan can't coexist in the same song. Throughout, he rap-sings with sincere irony--I bet he laughs at the sight of a jump-suited Elvis, then cries when the King starts to sing--and Odelay's rich collage of sound may very well prove a prediction of the future. If he ever finds the courage to can the loopy metaphors and just tell a story, he could take over the world. --David Cantwell
Wonderful Wonderful

Review

“Every record I make has an archetype,” says Clark. “‘Strange Mercy’ was Housewives on Pills. ‘St. Vincent’ was Near-Future Cult Leader. ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is different, it’s pretty first person. You can’t fact-check it, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record.”

‘MASSEDUCTION’ is the culmination of years of writing, with songs crafted from voice memos, text messages, and snippets of melodies that came to Clark while traveling the globe. Special guests on the album include Thomas Bartlett on piano, Kamasi Washington on saxophone, Jenny Lewis on vocals, and beat production from Sounwave. Greg Leisz and Rich Hinman add pedal steel, and Tuck and Patti Andress contribute guitar and vocals respectively on select tracks.

Opaque pink vinyl comes with 24” poster and 28 page booklet.


A Deeper Understanding

Review Three years after the critically acclaimed and heart wrenching 'Sea Change' Beck returns with 'Guero', that reunites Beck with classic co-conspirators the Dust Brothers. Beck explores territories uncharted by even this most innovative artist of his generation. Interscope. 2005.
Concrete and Gold

Review Now that Beck has effectively exorcised his personal demons with 2002's hyperconfessional Sea Change, he can get back to the business of being a total fruit loop. We all know what that involves: videogame sound effects, random shouting in Spanish, and rhymes about popsicles and vegetable vans. And that's just the second track. Guero is like every Beck album condensed into one, a no-holds-barred collision of two-turntables and a microphone with the added bonus of guitars, bossa-nova beats, Jack White, lyrics about spaceships, and dumptrucks full of ideas all fighting to be heard above the ruckus. It's an exhausting and exhilarating listen with lots of peaks, such as the digitized power ballad "Broken Drum" and handclap-drenched folk freak-out "Farewell Ride," and more than enough to restore anyone's faith in Beck as one of the most chaotically inspired songwriters of our time. -- Aidin Vaziri
american dream

Review Special Very Limited CD Digipak.
Villains

Review When Beck mangles folk, hip-hop, country, blues, and lo-fi rock into a unique sonic species, he pays homage to his influences in a way that is utterly entertaining. Indeed, the alt-rock vagabond is responsible for some of the 1990s' most indispensable music. In his lesser moments, however, Beck's attempts at emulating his preceptors fall flat, creating only B-grade versions of the genuine articles. Midnite Vultures splits down the middle between the great Beck and the not-so-great Beck. About half the album gorges on retro pulp fiction, a "Becksploitation," if you will, where his relatively straightforward impersonations shortchange his influences. On the slow-burn soul tracks "Peaches and Cream" and "Debra" or the 808-driven tributary "Hlwd. Freaks," he lacks the pipes, heart, and history to pass as a legitimate double-breasted soul man or old-school rapper. The other half, finding Beck in his element, is exhilarating. His unfaltering studio mastery is especially evident on standouts such as the horn-punched "Sexx Laws," the steamy, slap-bass-blasted "Nicotine and Gravy," and the wah-wah bombast of "Mixed Bizness." The album proves that Beck playing the straight-up funkateer will never match ranks with the raw talents of Marvin Gaye, George Clinton, or Prince, but as long as he adheres to more inventive genre splicing, he remains compelling in his own right. --Beth Massa
Morning Phase

Review Beck ~ Mutations
Sea Change

Review On his 1996 breakthrough album Odelay, Beck Hansen surprised a sleepy music community by blending funk, rock, rap, alternative, and electronica in ways that were both startlingly innovative and irresistibly catchy. Mutations is equally attention-grabbing but not in the gangbusters-pimp-rock-meets-indie-geek style you might expect. Reflective and plaintive, the album reveals Beck's more sentimental side with an eclectic collection of acoustic-based songs that will sound familiar to anyone who cherishes his indie-rock effort One Foot in the Grave. And don't think just because Beck's gone soft, he's gotten boring. From one song to the next, the chameleonic guru strums pensively, shimmies to a bossa nova rhythm, swirls on a psychedelic cloud, plucks Baroque strains from a harpsichord, and weeps countrified tears into a rusty tin bucket. On Mutations, Beck proves that an undistorted guitar and a bit of creativity can easily sound as exciting as two turntables and a microphone. --Jon Wiederhorn
Guero

Review BECK MELLOW GOLD
Colors

Review Far more than a novelty jester, Beck is a musical anarchist and bummed-out street prophet whose audience will squirm and thrill to the slacker delta blues of "Whiskeyclone" and urban nightmares like "Truckdrivin Neighbors Downstairs." --Jeff Bateman
Odelay

Review Euphoric 2017 album from Grammy Award winning US maestro serving up kaleidoscopic pop nuggets alongside retro-futuristic funk jams! Includes 'Dear Life' & 'Dreams'.
Modern Guilt

Review Morning Phase is true to its title: the beginning of yet another amazing chapter in Beck's peerless career and catalogue. Featuring musicians who have backed him on many of his most acclaimed albums, as well as the current live shows widely hailed as the best of his career (Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner), Morning Phase harkens back to the stunning harmonies, song craft and staggering emotional impact of Beck's most classic ballads, all the while surging forward with undeniable optimism.
Midnite Vultures

Review BECK SEA CHANGE
Mellow Gold

Review Beck is bummed. Really bummed. And if song titles such as "Lost Cause," "Lonesome Tears," "Already Dead," and "Nothing I Haven't Seen" don't make the point, his achingly sad lyrics and Sea Change's unerringly downcast sound do. While 1998's Mutations--arguably the singer-songwriter's masterwork and Sea Change's spiritual cousin--was filled with unflinching self-examination, moments of levity were found in songs like "Tropicalia." Not so on Sea Change. Beck's woozy, almost narcoleptic delivery seems to amplify the set's sense of ennui. But sad isn't necessarily bad, and despite the somber tone, there's much to praise, not the least of which is the return of producer Nigel Goderich (Mutations, Radiohead), who wraps Beck's gloom in a dreamy, warm blanket of soft strings and floating bleeps and gurgles. Like Daniel Lanois, Goderich is all about vibe, and even Beck's most bare-bones songs benefit from billowy atmospherics. That's especially true of "Paper Tiger," a restless, slowly building epic improbably propelled by a languid orchestra and Beck's expressionless drone. The inky black feel of "Round the Bend"--a glacially slow dirge with muffled vocals--may be the darkest thing Beck's ever written, not counting the very grim "Already Dead." Whatever's going on in Beck's world, at least we know he's purging, which, all things considered, may be better for his soul than ours. --Kim Hughes
The Information

Review Beck ~ Odelay

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