our score: 4.5 out of 5.0
It's been nearly
three years since we last heard from Beck, and boy how times have
changed. 1999's Midnite Vultures was arguably Beck's
funkiest album to date, the true follow-up to 1996's phenomenon,
Odelay, the album which put Beck up as the poster-boy
of cool. It was the sidestep of Mutations in 1998 that
caught people off-gaurd, however. Here was an album from a man
who few people really took seriously (other than as an inventive
musician), who was putting out an earnest attempt at a "folk
album." And, truth be told, it was (critically speaking)
Beck's best work in his career.
years after Midnite Vultures and
four years since Mutations, Beck has once again emerged
from the little music place artsy rock stars go to hide, and has
come back with his most depressingly beautiful album to date.
Working with Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Travis, Beck's Mutations),
Beck has managed to create an extremely moving, symphonic folk
opus, well-worthy of attention as one of the most-important albums
of 2002 (and possibly music in general).
Beck fashion, the music on Sea Change is a bit difficult
to pigeonhole into a category. Sure it's a folk album at heart,
but it's an electro-blip, symphonic string, depressive rollercoaster
folk record. No, there isn't such a thing, I just made it up.
(Actually Beck did, I just claim the genre name). Anyway, Sea
Change has got hints of everything spattered throughout.
There's some obligatory Dylan, electro-lounge ala early Radiohead
and later Air, a splash of Bjork (Vespertine Bjork, not
Post) and pretty much whatever else Beck decided to toss
in. Basically it's a Beck album, but a really good, really laid-back,
and really depressing Beck album.
By the way,
depressing is good when Beck does it.
for another good-time Beck release will have to sit this one out,
but anyone looking for an excellently produced, low-key release
couldn't do much better. It's not the album of the year, but it's
the Beck album of the decade. And it's destined to be one of the
folk albums of history.
liked Sea Change...
1. The Golden Age
2. Paper Tiger
3. Guess I'm Doin' Fine
4. Lonesome Tears
5. Lost Cause
6. Nothing I Haven't Seen
7. All In Your Mind
8. Round The Bend
9. Already Dead
10. Sunday Sun
11. Little One
12. Side Of The Road