Beck is a musical sensation unto himself. He’s almost as impossible to categorize in any one genre as he is to predict, but no matter what he does, it’s incredibly entertaining and becoming of his musical character. He’s been the alternative boy-toy with “Odelay.” He’s been psychedelic and funky dance machine with “Midnite Vultures.” He’s even played the sappy, acoustic card with “Sea Change.” Beck’s last album, Guero brought him much fame and respect among music critics worldwide as his folk/hip-hop hybrid swept people off their feet. Just a few years since his mega success that was Guero, Beck has returned with The Information. This album had negative buzz when it was still in the works, but as always, Beck proves to be unstoppable and that negative buzz was nothing more than skepticism. The Information is stylistically magnificent.
Perhaps the coolest element of this album, which has nothing to do with its musical quality, is that the CD booklet cover solid, plain white. It also came with about 25 stickers of random shapes, song titles, and images of Beck, himself, so that each person that purchased the album could decorate it themselves; it’s totally cute and totally fun. But, onto more important things.
The electronic diversity, not only on The Information, but what is seemingly innate to Beck, is always impressive and let’s not forget catchy! Catchiest tracks would have to be “Think I’m in Love,” We Dance Alone,” “Strange Apparition,” and my personal favorite track, “No Complaints.” In these songs, Beck takes the “dance song” to another level by integrating thought-provoking lyrics and interesting musical progression.
The beats are fun and original and whether he’s rapping along to it or singing with that light as air voice of his, these songs stand out.
A really awesome aspect of The Information, at least in contrast to Guero,was that the folk bind bone of Beck really showed. It was evident in tracks like “Soldier Jane” and “New Round” that his inspirations are not all experimental artists anymore. They are sweet songs, with simple progressions, but none the less beautiful.
As for the rap portion of the album, stand out tracks would be “Cellphone’s Dead,” “1000 Bpm,” and “Dark Star.” But even in these tracks, the genre of rap does not dominate.
Beck’s palate is not that one dimensional. Each and every song combines all of his musical passions, making it that much more his own and that much more enjoyable.
This album is truly incredible. I was thoroughly impressed, as I always end up being with Beck. He’s a musical genius, one of the few contemporary ones left. A surprise lies in not just every one of his albums, but in every one of the songs on those albums.
Beck is no musical one-trick pony. He dares to be progressive but keeps to his roots and there’s nothing more respectable than a musician who’s not afraid of music (or music reviews).
If you are someone who hasn’t gotten into Beck, you are a bit behind but it’s never too late to start. As I said before, he’s not going to stop anytime soon so you might as well start.
For more information on Beck, upcoming tours, etc., check out his Web site, www.beck.com. Beck is the most important musical artist of our generation. I say this with confidence, no other artist will uproot that title from him.