Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beck & Danger Mouse's Magical Mystery Tour

Modern Guilt
5 tablespoons
of Bosco

By Allen Bacon
The Daily Bosco

Don't misunderstand me...Beck's twelth and latest Modern Guilt is a great album adding to the artist's already wonderful body of work...but I've heard this someplace before.

It's as if the Alt-rocker is playing homage to some late-60's bands in about half of the songs. Listen to track 9, Profanity Prayers and tell me it doesn't sound like Buffalo Springfield's Mr. Soul. Or listen to Gamma Ray (track 2) and tell me if it doesn't sound like a Beach Boys/Surfaris/T-Bone Burnett tune. Or listen to Modern Guilt and see if you hear Paul Revere and the Raiders in there. Chemtrails sounds like a cross between Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys and the Doors.

Of course, all of this makes perfect sense when you understand that Beck grew up in Southern California. Listen to a lot of music from this region and some of it is going to come out via Osmosis.

The rest of the album is very Beck-like. My favorite track is Soul Of A Man (track 8) Ironically, it's the song where Beck's producer Gnarls Barkley's Danger Mouse is involved the least save for some sounds. Beck does all the vocals, guitars, bass, piano and even a tambourine thrown in for good measure.

And don't get me wrong...Danger Mouse brings a lot to this album in a production role. I'm sure the sound wouldn't be the same without the influence.

From a lyric standpoint, Beck is one of our poets. Insightful and biting. His lyrics would stand alone as great poetry.

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