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Album Review: Guero april 7 2005, 12:39 pm
submitted by: jay rock


Beck is back and his newest record is a step so far back to his roots that it just may be a colossal step forward. The melon collie subdued vibe that was present on Sea Change has been replaced by some good old fashioned guitar rock, a sprinkling of big beats, and the occasional lounge feel on Beckís latest release Guero. In short, Guero is the first Beck record in a while that provides something for everybody* (*at least everybody that likes Beck).

If you long for the Mellow Gold days, the album starts with a guitar blast in the form of E-Pro which most folks would be familiar with as the first single from the album. As always Beck turns some interesting phrases (talking trash to the garbage around you) amidst the thunder of the drums and the fuzzy guitar line. Something I found interesting (and this may be merely on a guy having been in a band before geek level) is that the name of the track has no relation to the lyrical content at all or to anything that Beck had come up with/drawn inspiration from while writing it. Apparently when the song was recorded in the studio the guy working the board just gave it a random name and when it came time to put the record out it stuck.

For Odelay fans, Hell Yes should pack just the quirky hip-hop punch youíre looking for even bringing back a hint of the transformer style robot effect from Two Turntables in the chorus. If the Midnight Vultures era falsetto found on Debra does it for you then youíll love itís return on laid back groove tracks like Earthquake Weather.

Like everything Beck has ever put out? Well thereís something for you too my friend, so skip right on to track number two and take a listen to Queí Onda Guero which seems to throw all the styles of previous records in a blender and comes out with something new yet familiar at the same time.

The record overall is amazing and should translate well to a live environment, with this in mind it was no surprise to read that Beck's primary intention this time out was to simply create tracks that would be fun to play live.

On a non-record note itís funny to think that back in the early nineties when Loser first hit the airwaves Beck looked like a guy who was destined to be a one hit wonder riding the grunge train. Flash forward about 15 years and the man has not only put out several of the best records over the past decade and a half, but heís just as relevant now as he was wearing a knit cap talking about the butane in his brain. Heís constantly reinventing and making additions to his vast musical repertoire while still maintaining commercial success. The only other artist that I can think of from Beckís generation who consistently comes up with music this creatively different yet accessible (for the most part) is Bjork. Love or hate either of them you have to respect an artist who has worked themselves into a position where they can make the music that they want to make with little restriction.

If you donít want to buy the whole album at the very least buy these three tracks:

Black Tambourine- For my money this is the best song on the entire record. The bass line sounds like something that hit that cutting room floor from a vintage Doors session and the rest of the track just chugs right along with it.

Girl- This song is a close second to Black Tambourine as one of my favorite tracks. Itís a song custom made for spring and summer days cruising with the windows down, plus itís got a phat slide guitar breakdown.

Hell Yes- If you were a fan of Two Turntables and a Microphone then this is the track for you, Beck brings his funky brand of hip-hop proper.

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normal mc
normal mc 7472 posts
comment no. 1

Nice work!

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