Wednesday, March 30, 2005

What's Happening White Boy

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Yesterday brought the release of the new Beck album Guero, his first in 3 years. It features production by The Dust Brothers, who helmed Odelay and Midnight Vultures, and as such is a return to the cut and paste sounds and hip hop beats of those older records. Critics have been quick to compare them, and seem to think that this set of new tunes is OK but nothing new. I've given it a couple of spins and my first impression is that I like it. It sounds like a distillation of the fun party records and the more melancholic folky stuff, instead of focusing on one side of those equations. There is a deluxe version available (pictured above) - it's a CD/DVD combo, with 3 extra songs and 4 remixes on the CD, and a 5.1 stereo mix of the album with visual accompaniment on the DVD (as well as a nice, arty booklet). The DVD is visually boring - my iTunes player's visuals are more interesting, but the 5.1 mix sounds pretty cool. The real reason I splashed out on this version of the record is for the extra tracks & remixes by Octet, Boards Of Canada, Dizzee Rascal & Royksopp. They were the first things I listened to on the album, and the remixers really add their sound and flavor to the songs. Royksopp's mix of Still Missing You could be an outtake from their excellent Melody AM album, with it's thumping beat, synth washes and cymbal work. I like it a lot. Boards Of Canada bring their unique, leftfield slant to Broken Drum with it's mellow beat, backtracked keys and bass and ambient synths. So, it's thumbs up for the music, thumbs down for the visuals on the DVD.

1 comment:

josie said...

Oooh, thanks for these 2 :) Now I'm going to pick up the album.