Beck CD reviewed by Steve Miller
Oct 22, 2008, 16:22
BECK Odelay 2xCD (deluxe edition)
The Beck phenomenon came along at the perfect time; it was launched amidst a flurry of early-90s distortion and based on the improbable favor of a tinny, acoustic-led tune, “Loser.” While the song was a qualified success in terms of delivering the unexpected, Beck's loud, public disdain for the very creative work that propelled him was both ingenuous and ignorant, and every bit as sadly misguided at Cobain's dismay over the public's embrace of his own stab at commercial music.
What “Loser” and the strong sales of the album, Mellow Gold, didn't do is entitle Beck to put out this absolutely terrible stab at convening his career on his own terms.
Odelay has sold 2.2 million copies, which means there is some seriously bad taste going on in the 30+ age ranks. That's to be expected; we elect presidents who should never even be clerks with more persuasive votes.
It just proves once again that shit does sell and it's made Beck a rich man. That Odelay warrants some sort of reverential treatment in the form of a deluxe edition is ill-considered. But the surprise is that the second disc, a smattering of outtakes and remixes. It launches with a 12-minute remix of “Where It's At,” and moves through two decimating, incomprehensible mixes of “Devil's Haircut.” Most of the rest is two-minute dots of beatbox noise and sampled, disjointed voices that twin with full-pronged songs which should have been Odelay. This is Geffen's idea of emptying the vaults, and it only shows the misdirected efforts of management to make Beck into something he was not: A Star. He was, and may even remain, a strong voice in the folky/rootsy/beat genre. To these ears, he'll always be one more Hollywood scenester with more style than substance. [Geffen]