Beck - Guero
Review by Jack Foley
THE great news about Beck’s latest album, Guero, is that it seems to have recaptured the joy of old.
As good an album as Sea Change was, it marked the artist at his most sombre and broken-hearted, very rarely achieving that quirky, feel-good vibe that’s become a welcome trademark of a Beck album.
With Guero, however, the good times roll again, from the catchy, sing-along ‘na, na, nas’ of lead single, E-Pro, to the ultra-funky beats of Girl, the album rarely skips a beat.
Beck has clearly got his groove back and has fun mixing up the styles, throwing in the samples, and playing with his former production partners, The Dust Brothers, to present an album that probably rates as his most commercially appealing in years.
Everything about Guero screams quality, while serving to underline the eclectic nature of Beck’s appeal.
You want hip-hop beats, blues-laced guitars, electro-tinged folk and a little bit of soul on one album? Then roll on up.
The feel-good vibe is epitomised by the truly bouncy Girl, which has to rate as one of the artist’s best-ever tracks – a completely addictive, effortlessly breezy summer anthem that encapsulates everything that’s great about listening to Beck.
You’ll want to dance and sing-along all at the same time, while feeling good about yourself (and music) to boot.
E-Pro is another great Beck anthem, a delirious throwback to the Devil’s Haircut style of song-writing that contains a fantastic Beastie Boys sample.
While Black Tambourine contains a grinding bassline and shuffling beat that makes it instantly appealing.
The tender, more sensitive side of Beck is still present, however, in tracks such as the downtempo Missing, which contains some truly emotive lyrics, and the pensive Broken Drum, which finds Beck’s vocals at their most heart-breaking.
Such moments only serve to emphasise the diversity of Beck’s range while providing a more complete listen.
Other highlights include Hell Yes, which cranks up the 80s vibe and harks back to the Detroit music scene, and the slightly more rock-driven Scarecrow, which once more displays Beck’s penchant for devising some ingenious lyrics.
Guero is a musical tour-de-force; a glorious and victorious celebration of all things Beck, which is certain to rate among the albums of this or any year. Buy it immediately!
2. Que’ Onda Guero
5. Black Tambourine
6. Earthquake Weather
7. Hell Yes
8. Broken Drum
10. Go It Alone
11. Farewell Ride
12. Rental Car
13. Emergency Exit
14. Send A Message To Her
15. Chain Reaction