Criticisng Beck is like taking a leak on your dear old Granny’s grave; you just don’t do it. Mr Hansen has been turning out edgy, slightly off the wall anthems for as long as we can remember, making him one of music’s rare sacred cows. After all, and whisper it quietly, his last album ‘Sea Change’ wasn’t all that. But how many people did you hear shouting it from the rooftops? Not many, and those who did were largely ignored. No such worries this time around; ‘Guero’ is melancholy free and totally euphoric.
Take ‘E-Pro’. A snarling riff as obvious as any gay in this village, riding roughshod over effortless beats and rhymes; it sounds as if Beck could do this in his sleep, and he most probably can. That doesn’t stop it being his best effort in what seems like an age - as cutting as ‘Devils Haircut’ or ‘Loser’ ever was, it’s surely a classic in the making.
Not that it’s any match for the fantastical ‘Girl’. Like ‘Sexx Laws’ taking ‘The New Pollution’ to a salsa party, there’s more groove than should be considered entirely healthy. If it’s not a summer hit, then we’ll eat our collective hat.
With The Dust Brothers back in tandem on production duties, it’s no wonder that ‘Guero’ could well be the closest thing to ‘Odelay’ since the mid nineties classic first surfaced. ‘Go It Alone’, featuring the double header of handclaps and Jack White is a prime example. Minimalist but catchy, it’s the musical equivalent of a top of a range Ikea sofa, but with twice the character.
Generation X may well be stuck pushing papers behind a desk these days, but this is one man who won’t be letting go and going straight any time soon. With records this good, why should he?
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