Beck - CD review (4 stars)

The Information (Geffen)

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HIP HOP

Convenience is everything nowadays and there is a particular kind of music which nails the rumble of great hip hop to the insistency of great electro and squeezes the nonchalant twang of the blues up against the comely beauty of perfect folk music and holds within its tin ribs a sense of the bittersweet. The whole shebang often feels like it is on the edge of complete collapse but stays together. Just. This music is, for convenience’s sake, called Beck music.

While much of The Information is joyfully effusive, it is the grooves that catch initially while the darker atmospheres seep into your system over days. The upshot is a great record that faces all points on the compass (often in one song) but manages to sidestep gimmick. Nigel Godrich is prime collaborator here and his touch lends a spooky, twisted air to the proceedings. Beck still paints oblique absurd lyrical patterns for the most part but you can forgive him when the rest is so oddly beguiling.

Beck

American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Beck Hansen plays alternative rock and anti-folk.

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