Beck – The Information

BeckRecently, our good friend Daniel over at Binky’s Doormat blogged on how Beck’s latest album was being banned from the UK charts. His crime? Providing stickers with the album, so fans could create their own cover art (here’s my attempts at a front and back cover). The word asinine doesn’t even cover it. You’d think record companies would be stuffing CD cases with extra goodies so that people would go out to the shops and buy them. But anyway, in all the fuss I’ve not really heard people saying whether the album itself is any good. Beck unfortunately appears to be always having to live up to his third album Odelay. But that was 10 years ago and the Information is his fifth album since then.

But wouldn’t you know it, it’s the album that closely resembles Odelay’s cut ‘n paste soundscapes. After the intimate and acoustic Sea Changes album, and last year’s rock-orientated Guero, The Information is another change in sound. “Elevator” has a swampy beat and a typically mazzy rap from Beck. “I Think I’m In Love” is kinda like “Girl” from Guero; simple beat, sparse verse, but when the piano comes in on the chorus it stuck in my head. “Strange Apparation” starts of with a carnival beat and keeps the momentum up with a ragtime piano lead. It’s all good stuff, “Nausea” is a funky but simple track; “The Horrible Fanfare” starts off sounding like a cheesy 80’s ballad but turns into a cosmic, melancholy track.

There’s a couple of bum tracks though; “Motorcade” and “Landslide/Exoskeleton” could’ve both been taken off the album, and in the latter’s case, shave 10 minutes off the runtime. That would have meant the album was 14 tracks in a trim 45 minutes, but it’s a minor point. In all honesty, Beck is probably one of those artists that have the freedom to do exactly what they want, whenever they want and lets be thankful that at least there’s one guy out there trying to be different.

Beck – Cellphones Dead:

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