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

Jimmy LaFave: Cimmaron Manifesto (Red House/Elite)

Jimmy LaFave: Cimmaron Manifesto (Red House/Elite)

Austin-based singer-songwriter LaFave has perhaps covered too many Dylan songs in his long career (usually very well indeed it must be said) so it's amusing to find on this album he shifts his... > Read more

Mark De Cive-Lowe: CHURCH (ropeadope)

Mark De Cive-Lowe: CHURCH (ropeadope)

When I interviewed expat keyboard player/producer and remixer Mark De Clive-Lowe during his recent 36-hour visit to Auckland he was aware – after 10 years in London and five in LA where he... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CARAVAGGIO, MAN AND MYSTERY (Arts Channel doco): The cut and thrust of art

CARAVAGGIO, MAN AND MYSTERY (Arts Channel doco): The cut and thrust of art

Few 17th century artists engage the modern audience in quite the same way as the man known as Caravaggio. He was, by contemporary accounts, an aggressive knife-carrying and swaggering figure, an... > Read more

Morocco: A practical guide

Morocco: A practical guide

The deserts and mountains of Morocco have seen a bewildering array of oddities: Egyptian zombies; Carrie, Samantha and the other Sex and the City gals traipsing through the sand; Jesus tortured... > Read more