Beck – Modern Guilt

Modern Guilt

You know, this is actually pretty good, for the most part. I’ll confess, my expectations were pretty bloody low for this album, given the extreme variability of Beck’s recent work.  Actually, the extreme variability of all of his work.

I loved Mutations, I liked Guero, I sort of liked Odelay and Mellow Gold, I like most of Sea Change, but albums like Midnite Vultures and The Information rather passed me by.  Maybe I need a Best of Beck playlist, and then I could just give up on expecting his albums to be great, because pretty much none of them are.  Almost all of them contain great bits, some more than others, but really only Mutations is great all the way through.

This particular outing is not bad though, and explores something of an indie-rock vibe, before settling into slightly more uneasily electronic-tinged stuff that will come as no surprise to his more regular listeners. It actually sounds not at all unlike Radiohead a lot of the time. Maybe the man just needs to release six or seven track mini-albums in order to focus on the best stuff.  If you trimmed his albums down to that length he’d look like a genius, but for the most part the material ends up being a bit thin for twelve song long players.

This is no exception.  Gamma Ray is good, Orphans is excellent, Chemtrails and Modern Guilt are both good, but then things drift a little before picking up right at the end.  So as I said, pretty good.  But that’s about it.

Beck – Orphans
Beck – Modern Guilt

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