Beck – Modern Guilt

July 9, 2008

“You got warheads / Stacked in the kitchen / You treat distraction / Like an instant religion…”

Beck isn’t necessarily breaking any new ground with his latest album, Modern Guilt, but it’s nevertheless his most consistently enjoyable, flat out entertaining album in some time. Danger Mouse worked with him on this one, so obviously it sounds pretty great with some surprises here and there, including appearances by Cat Power on tracks one and six. Stylistically, Modern Guilt is all over the place, shifting from the moody and atmospheric (“Volcano”), to the groovy and danceable (“Gamma Ray,” which reminded me a bit of the Violent Femmes, and “Replica”), to the psychedelic and introspective (“Chemtrails”), and points between. This is not the most cheery album he’s ever done, riddled as the lyrics are with fear, confusion and doubt, but then that might be expected on an album called Modern Guilt. It is a pleasure to listen to, though some fans might think a Beck album that clocks in just under 34 minutes is too little of a good thing. Nevertheless, it’s definitely recommended. Standout cuts: “Gamma Rays,” “Chemtrails,” “Walls” and “Replica.”

http://www.myspace.com/beck

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