Friday, July 11, 2008
quickie album review: modern guilt
If I could list the musical acts who've had me from hello, the first would be Radiohead and the second, Beck; so, despite being largely underwhelmed by his two previous releases and after reading very mixed reviews of Modern Guilt, I still had every intention of giving Mr. Hansen the benefit of the doubt.  Of course, the fact that Danger Mouse produced this newest effort didn't make that decision hard, exactly. If tracks titled "Gamma Ray," "Chemtrails," and "Orphans" hadn't already clued you in, Modern Guilt is apocalyptically themed, which I feel is to its benefit since the most interesting material often comes from a place of darkness.  But the sound of the album, though moody, dreamy and chill, isn't particularly dark. Although Danger Mouse's beats occasionally err on the heavy-handed side, the overall marriage between the two artists is a happy one, and the resultant sound effect is delightfully multi-layered and rich.  My biggest criticism is that, clocking in at just over 30 minutes, Modern Guilt is too darn short, but saying that you wanted something to last longer is the sort of criticism one doesn't mind hearing, I suppose.

The verdict: Though imperfect, I've been listening to Modern Guilt almost exclusively since laying hands on it, so I'm announcing that the negative reviewers can stuff it.  Honestly, I don't think I've liked a Beck album this much since Odelay

Favorite Track: "Volcano"

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Blogger thom young said...

great review, this is beck's best album since sea change.

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