Capitol, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Beck has returned with help from Greg Kurstin (Foo Fighters, Adele), and what he has come up with is something along the lines of 2005’s Guero and not Morning Phase (2014). While the latter was one of the most eye-opening records I’ve ever heard, this one, eh, not so much. The opening title track is decent enough, but it doesn’t jump through the speakers and shout at me. However, Beck’s vocals on “Seventh Heaven” are actually quite impressive and work really well against the uptempo music going on around him. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“I’m So Free” and “Dear Life” don’t work at all; they just seem too jumpy and don’t really do much to the landscape of the record. “No Distraction,” on the other hand, is quite impressive, an upbeat funky jam designed to get the party going which it does very well. “Dreams” is a song I’ve never liked and this new mix doesn’t do much to enhance the song. “Wow” is just weird. Not like Odelay weird, just weird. And like Mr. Horse in Ren & Stimpy, I don’t like it! It feels like one of the weakest songs here. “Square One” is another decent cut that comes close to being really good but falls just short of the prize.

The album’s current single “Up All Night” follows the same path as “Dreams” and “Wow,” a weirdo dance rocker that’s trying to find its place in the world. It’s interesting to hear on the radio alongside other dance-rock tracks because in a way, Beck originated this form of stuff that is designed to get people off their butts and onto the floor while also still remaining indie cool. Meanwhile, “Fix Me” is the stuff of dreams, a song along the lines of something on Morning Phase. It works really well, demanding extra listens. This is one of the best songs of the year – too bad it’s just over three minutes. Still, it works and just sounds and feels fantastic.

Unfortunately, one fantastic song doesn’t create a great album. Though Beck tries hard and succeeds here and there, the whole release feels like a step back after the artistic triumph that was Morning Phase.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2017 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol, and is used for informational purposes only.