Orion’s music review
July 11, 2008
Beck’s "Modern Guilt" is awesome, buy it!
Good, with that out of the way this review can start. No matter how you feel about this guy you have to give him credit for always being interesting and new in his approach to music.
Every album he makes has a distinct style and sound that separates them from what came before.
His last two albums, "Guero" and "The Information" were Spanish rap and electronica- flavored, respectively.
With his new album, "Modern Guilt," he’s dipping into the psychedelic genre for influence. Anyone familiar with Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd will instantly fall in love with this record. Now saying that, don’t go into this record expecting guitar solos and the spaciness that usually goes with this territory, there is some of that but the majority of the similarity comes with the lyrics.
This is without a doubt his darkest album since "Sea Change." That album was more melancholy than dark. This one is definitely grim.
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The odd part about that is the music is predominately bouncy and light. There are a few moments that get a little grinding with some abrasive guitar and synth work, but this is the kind of darkness that you can dance around to.
"Modern Guilt" is a great collection of songs not only musically but lyrically. Beck is at the top of his game. The songs mostly deal with the miasma that is 20th century life, most of the songs here deal with war, disease, drugs and pollution.
Instead of being unbearably bleak though, however, Beck delivers songs with a level of hope and humor that is welcome indeed.
Also of note is this album was co-produced by Danger Mouse, who is quickly becoming the go-to guy in the music world. Just look at who he has worked for recently: the Black Keys, Gorillaz, Gnarls Barkley, MF Doom and of course his breakthrough mix of the Beatles’ "White Album" and Jay-Z’s "Black Album" — hence the Grey Album.
Danger Mouse’s contribution here is subtle but it is also undeniably present. Yes, that contradiction is confusing, but you get the sense that these two guys really collaborated on these tunes and didn’t just tinker with them.
Last but not least is the album length. Beck has had a tendency to ramble on his last few records. Not so here. "Modern Guilt" flies by at just over thirty minutes. It’s the kind of record that you will be starting over the second it’s finished.
It’s yet another amazing, spellbinding and strange trip from Beck.
Top 10 sellers:
1. Beck – Modern Guilt 2. Lil Wayne – Carter III 3. Coldplay – Viva La Vida 4. Duffy – Rockferry 5. G.Love – Super Hero Brother 6. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges 7. Reckless Kelly – Bullet Proof 8. Kid Rock – Rock And Roll Jesus 9. Willie Nelson/Wynton Marsalis – Two Men With The Blues 10. Ratatat – LP 3