Beck

080708_beck.jpg
Beck / Photo by Autumn de Wilde
WRITTEN BY
William Goodman

What? From his slack 1994 clunker "Beercan" to 2004's full-size fuzz "E-Pro," Beck Hansen has forged a flourishing career out of the obscure, the ever-morphing. And after all these years -- thankfully -- not much has changed. Meet Modern Guilt, Beck's tenth LP, arriving today (July 8) with his typical eclecticism in full force, exploring new territory -- namely '60s psych-pop -- with the aid of production mastermind Danger Mouse. For a sample, stream a snippet of "Chemtrails," with all its floating atmospherics, snappy drums, and repetitive, droning mantras.

Who? Beck Hansen, who first blipped on the radar in '94 with his dust-shuffling lackadaisical anthem "Loser," capturing crowds with his silly folk sarcasms and back-of-the-classroom notebook rambles. And from there it would only get weirder: 1996's landmark Odelay is a time-honored rock-sample collage; Midnight Vultures is a funky, glamorous Hollywood-hop gem; and Sea Change his stark yet gorgeous acoustic diary entry.

Fun Fact: Beck, not exactly known for his collaborations, secured the vocals of Cat Power on Modern Guilt tracks "Orphans" and "Walls."

Now Hear This: "Chemtrails" (30 second clip)

Beck's SPIN Archives

Archive Quick-links
>> July 2005:100 Greatest Albums 1985-Now#16. Beck, Odelay (David Itzkoff) #81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Andrew Beaujon)
>> January 1997: "Year In Music: Beck" (Neil Strauss)
>> August 1996: "After the Gold Rush" (Eric Weisbard)
>> December 1999: "Moonwalking in L.A." (Chris Norris)
>> November 2002: "Bringing Beck Alive" (Chuck Klosterman)
>> November 1998: "Mutant Folk Machine" (Joshua Clover)
>> March 2003: "Real Life Rock Tales: The Flaming Lips and BeckWitness Armageddon" (As told by Wayne Coyne to Victoria DeSilverio)

Click to Enlarge

Archive Quick-links
>> July 2005:100 Greatest Albums 1985-Now#16. Beck, Odelay (David Itzkoff) #81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Andrew Beaujon)
>> January 1997: "Year In Music: Beck" (Neil Strauss)
>> August 1996: "After the Gold Rush" (Eric Weisbard)
>> December 1999: "Moonwalking in L.A." (Chris Norris)
>> November 2002: "Bringing Beck Alive" (Chuck Klosterman)
>> November 1998: "Mutant Folk Machine" (Joshua Clover)
>> March 2003: "Real Life Rock Tales: The Flaming Lips and BeckWitness Armageddon" (As told by Wayne Coyne to Victoria DeSilverio)

Click to Enlarge

Archive Quick-links
>> July 2005:100 Greatest Albums 1985-Now#16. Beck, Odelay (David Itzkoff) #81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Andrew Beaujon)
>> January 1997: "Year In Music: Beck" (Neil Strauss)
>> August 1996: "After the Gold Rush" (Eric Weisbard)
>> December 1999: "Moonwalking in L.A." (Chris Norris)
>> November 2002: "Bringing Beck Alive" (Chuck Klosterman)
>> November 1998: "Mutant Folk Machine" (Joshua Clover)
>> March 2003: "Real Life Rock Tales: The Flaming Lips and BeckWitness Armageddon" (As told by Wayne Coyne to Victoria DeSilverio)

Click to Enlarge

Archive Quick-links
>> July 2005:100 Greatest Albums 1985-Now#16. Beck, Odelay (David Itzkoff) #81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Andrew Beaujon)
>> January 1997: "Year In Music: Beck" (Neil Strauss)
>> August 1996: "After the Gold Rush" (Eric Weisbard)
>> December 1999: "Moonwalking in L.A." (Chris Norris)
>> November 2002: "Bringing Beck Alive" (Chuck Klosterman)
>> November 1998: "Mutant Folk Machine" (Joshua Clover)
>> March 2003: "Real Life Rock Tales: The Flaming Lips and BeckWitness Armageddon" (As told by Wayne Coyne to Victoria DeSilverio)

Click to Enlarge

Archive Quick-links
>> July 2005:100 Greatest Albums 1985-Now#16. Beck, Odelay (David Itzkoff) #81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Andrew Beaujon)
>> January 1997: "Year In Music: Beck" (Neil Strauss)
>> August 1996: "After the Gold Rush" (Eric Weisbard)
>> December 1999: "Moonwalking in L.A." (Chris Norris)
>> November 2002: "Bringing Beck Alive" (Chuck Klosterman)
>> November 1998: "Mutant Folk Machine" (Joshua Clover)
>> March 2003: "Real Life Rock Tales: The Flaming Lips and BeckWitness Armageddon" (As told by Wayne Coyne to Victoria DeSilverio)

Archive Quick-links
>> July 2005:100 Greatest Albums 1985-Now#16. Beck, Odelay (David Itzkoff) #81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Andrew Beaujon)
>> January 1997: "Year In Music: Beck" (Neil Strauss)
>> August 1996: "After the Gold Rush" (Eric Weisbard)
>> December 1999: "Moonwalking in L.A." (Chris Norris)
>> November 2002: "Bringing Beck Alive" (Chuck Klosterman)
>> November 1998: "Mutant Folk Machine" (Joshua Clover)
>> March 2003: "Real Life Rock Tales: The Flaming Lips and BeckWitness Armageddon" (As told by Wayne Coyne to Victoria DeSilverio)
Click to Enlarge

Archive Quick-links
>> July 2005:100 Greatest Albums 1985-Now#16. Beck, Odelay (David Itzkoff) #81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Andrew Beaujon)
>> January 1997: "Year In Music: Beck" (Neil Strauss)
>> August 1996: "After the Gold Rush" (Eric Weisbard)
>> December 1999: "Moonwalking in L.A." (Chris Norris)
>> November 2002: "Bringing Beck Alive" (Chuck Klosterman)
>> November 1998: "Mutant Folk Machine" (Joshua Clover)
>> March 2003: "Real Life Rock Tales: The Flaming Lips and BeckWitness Armageddon" (As told by Wayne Coyne to Victoria DeSilverio)

Click to Enlarge

Archive Quick-links
>> July 2005:100 Greatest Albums 1985-Now#16. Beck, Odelay (David Itzkoff) #81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Andrew Beaujon)
>> January 1997: "Year In Music: Beck" (Neil Strauss)
>> August 1996: "After the Gold Rush" (Eric Weisbard)
>> December 1999: "Moonwalking in L.A." (Chris Norris)
>> November 2002: "Bringing Beck Alive" (Chuck Klosterman)
>> November 1998: "Mutant Folk Machine" (Joshua Clover)
>> March 2003: "Real Life Rock Tales: The Flaming Lips and BeckWitness Armageddon" (As told by Wayne Coyne to Victoria DeSilverio)

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