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Beck - Modern Guilt

2009-01-22 10:41
Modern Guilt (Universal, 2008)

This is a perfectly-timed album from Beck.

He's got a diamond that don't know how to shine on "Orphans", the lament of a 30ish generation that wonders whether there's a world - good or bad - to bring kids into at all. He's more explicit on "Gamma Ray", that the ice-caps are melting. He injects blues and some familiar Beck melodic turns son "Soul of a Man". He's world-weary, but still passionate as he slips away - because how else would he write the songs? This is the sophisticated soundtrack for a speeding car with climate control. It's his personal vent against a political problem, but he wouldn't play so well at a green rally just yet.

So, he's still exploiting his seductive mix of finessed depression and well... if it weren't pure Beck it would be called stealing, or "collaboration". But his respectful genre-satire always lets the cynical music fundis out there surf along without feeling like we're being taken for a ride. "It's ok", we think. "He knows what he's doing". Thing is, he also knows the planet's dying. He knows the heart of darkness is deep in the north. He knows we all think about it almost as often as we think about sex. Or at least, every time we shop. And how cool does that sound? There's never been anything better than hearing someone, hearing you. Forget style, forget so-called originality. Beck still counts.

And postmodern music is never dead. It's just pop.

Danger Mouse's warm-sandy, post-industrialized production amplifies disturbing themes, and every song siphons the paranoia of faraway death to keep the pheromones flowing.

What to read next: Kalahari

Anon 2009-01-20 03:05 PM
  • Rating:
Interesting music.

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