BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Beck: Modern Guilt (DGC)

 |   |  <1 min read

Beck: Replica
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Beck: Modern Guilt (DGC)

For my money there are only two indispensible Beck albums: Odelay of '96 and Mutations of two years later. That said, there are another couple I'd prefer not to live without -- and this one produced by Danger Mouse shapes up to be one of those, and is still climbing in stature on repeat plays.
As always this gifted, musical changeling and sonic shapeshifter filterfeeds his way through noir-psychedelic and punchy pop, eerie but constrained prog-rock (if you can do prog in under three minutes), layered electro-ballads and much more besides.
There is a customary unease in the lyrics which on songs like Walls (with guest vocals by Cat Power) is married to some appropriately disconcerting sounds. At times this suggests Beck's mellowing memory of Bowie's experimental Lodger which has been filtered through his weave and weft of tape loops and odd musical intrusions (the Indo touches on Replica, the chugging Fripprock guitars on Soul of a Man).
At a mere 35 minutes Modern Guilt is also as economic as it is dense.
On any countback Beck has rarely disappointed and on this often musically witty but lyrically disconcerting outing he keeps the innovation/satisfaction count high. Got pop songs too.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Norah Jones: The Fall (Blue Note/EMI)

Norah Jones: The Fall (Blue Note/EMI)

The smaller sales on Jones’ two albums  -- Feels Like Home (04) and Not Too Late (07) -- after the extraordinary figures for her 02 debut Come Away With Me (20 million and rising) were... > Read more

Tom Principato: A Part of Me (Powerhouse)

Tom Principato: A Part of Me (Powerhouse)

Singer-guitarist Principato has some fine friends who line up to help out here. Slide guitarist Sonny Landreth, Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns, and Chuck Leavell (Allmans and Stones) on... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE PRODUCER QUESTIONNAIRE: Paddy Free of Pitch Black

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE PRODUCER QUESTIONNAIRE: Paddy Free of Pitch Black

Pitch Black – Paddy Free and Mike Hodgson – have been in the vanguard of New Zealand electronica, dub and dance for more decades than even they care to recall. They brought hi-tech... > Read more

POI E AND PATEA MAORI (1988): Dalvanius, man of passion

POI E AND PATEA MAORI (1988): Dalvanius, man of passion

The old wooden Methodist church in a side street in Patea isn’t used much anymore. A lot of places in Patea aren't. It's a town battered by the economic ideas of successive governments and... > Read more