Review: 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!
here for Beck audio/video
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
here for Beck audio/video