Wednesday, August 20

Feeling Guilty about Modern Guilt

Artist: Beck
Album: Modern Guilt

Comments: There are a whole bunch of reasons why I probably won’t ever be taken seriously as a critic. One of those reasons is my apathy toward Beck. Here is an example of every conversation I’ve ever had pertaining to a new Beck album, including his most recent one, Modern Guilt.

Buddy #1: Oh man, Beck has got a new album coming out!

Buddy #2: No shit! Aw man, that’s awesome, I love Beck!

Buddy #1: Dude, me too! He’s so cool and crazy!

Mr. Dogg: (waking from a nap) ….What’s going on?

Buddy #1 and #2: New Beck album!

Mr. Dogg: Oh. Neat. (goes back to sleep)

“Oh. Neat” is really the best I can do for Beck. Not that I don’t understand the hullabaloo; I consider Beck to be my generation’s David Bowie. Love him or hate him, there is no one else like him. At the very least, each Beck album is interesting from an audio production standpoint due to his interest in samples, production and studio elements.

Of course, calling an artist interesting isn’t the same thing as calling an artist good. Despite his individuality and uniqueness, his albums have always been little more than singles and filler to me. I’ve listened to Modern Guilt from start to finish a few times now, and nothing has jumped out at me.

As much of a cop out as it is, the best I can say is this. If you like Beck, specifically the newer, more mature, more restrained Beck from Sea Change and The Information, then Modern Guilt will be up your alley. If you’re still looking to get into Beck, this might not be the place to start.

Part of me wonders if I am missing out by not being on the Beck boat. Years from now, when my children start getting into music and they ask me about Beck, one of the most innovative and memorable artists of my generation, I feel like I’ll be cheating them when all I can say is “Yeah, I was never really into him.”

Of course, Rush was one of the most innovative bands of their time, as well. And who the fuck cares about Rush?

- by Mr Dogg

Rating: 5 out of 10

Buy, Steal, Skip: Steal

1 comment:

Paul Tsikitas said...

I think I am the polar opposite of you, good sir. I recently spent weeks listening to nothing but Beck. The new album, although a personal favorite of mine, is not something for someone who does not like Beck or simply just doesn't care. I am surprised, however, that you don't find the song "Chemtrails" to be a rivetting piece of rock music. I best describe it as Beck singing for the Who instead of Daltry. Which for me is a cream dream.

But it's okay not to like someone as prolific as Beck.

But don't fuck with Rush.