It is quite a coincidence, I know, but I decided to re-listen to my old Beck CDs today, the same day that I decided to watch 10 Years of Mellow Gold, Beck's documentary. It is really fantastic! You can watch it here. I always thought he was a strange kind of guy, but I never knew he was so weird! I've always thought Beck was one of the most influencial and creative artists of the 90s, but this documentary put it all in a different perspective for me. Much more intimate and personal, I guess.
I believe that Beck's greatest album, however, was Odelay. Mellow Gold was really good, but I think his true creative genius was really shown with '96's Odelay. The album seems like such a mish-mash of genres. Some alternative rock, some hip hope stuff, so metal-ish songs ... everything! But unlike other unfocused albums, Odelay seemed to have some centralizing element even though it was by no means apparent on the surface.
I picked up the Stereopathetic Soulmanure CD of his just today also. It's a pretty cool disk. Sort of a compilation of stuff Beck did before Mellow Gold, so a lot of it is real rough, but definately fun and interesting to listen to.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Beck is his whole aura. As the documentary says, he was called "Farmer Boy" in his early days, but his music obviously contradicted his name a lot of the time. He has been heavily influenced by hip hop and punk and rock and some heavy metal and definately country, but his music can never be really summed up as "Farmer Boy"'s music.
I am really looking forward to his new record. It is supposed to be a return to his roots, so it sounds like it will be an improvement over Sea Change if nothing else. It is supposed to be

"a much more aggressive, guitar-focused affair with tracks produced by the esteemed Nigel Godrich and long-time collaborators The Dust Brothers."

Sound good? Good.


10 years