Nada Mucho

Beck’s Guero: Not as Good as Odelay, but Still Pretty Good

Posted by May 1st, 2005 No Comments »

This is the cover to Beck's new album, which is called "Guero," which actually is not a Spanish word or phrase. In that regard, it is similar to "Nada Mucho."Album Review
Beck – Guero
By Graham Isaac

The buzz on Beck’s Guero has been such: “It’s good, but not Odelay. It sounds like Odelay but not as much like Odelay as other people have said. Makes me miss Odelay.”

True enough. But I would compare these arguments to those leveled at
Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief not being as brilliant as OK Computer, while still operating in the same sonic territory. My counter argument would be as such: “Look–the artist in question’s strengths lie in their ability to change and explore new territories. Yet, everyone still pines for the ‘old stuff’– then when the artist kowtows and makes a crowd-pleaser, people are angry the sequel doesn’t outpace the original. Bullshit.”

With that said, I suppose I don’t even have to write the rest of the review; it writes itself. But I will, because while it explores similar musical style, the underlying emotions feel more like Mutations than Mellow Gold or 1996’s masterpiece in question. The album kicks off with “E-pro’s: chugging guitar and “na-na-na-na” chorus, a bit more rock than normal, but still very vintage Beck. Next up, “Que Onda Guero” settles into the junkyard-funk sound that has


This is the cover to Beck's new album, which is called "Guero," which actually is not a Spanish word or phrase. In that regard, it is similar to "Nada Mucho."Album Review
Beck – Guero
By Graham Isaac

The buzz on Beck’s Guero has been such: “It’s good, but not Odelay. It sounds like Odelay but not as much like Odelay as other people have said. Makes me miss Odelay.”

True enough. But I would compare these arguments to those leveled at Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief not being as brilliant as OK Computer, while still operating in the same sonic territory. My counter argument would be as such: “Look–the artist in question’s strengths lie in their ability to change and explore new territories. Yet, everyone still pines for the ‘old stuff’– then when the artist kowtows and makes a crowd-pleaser, people are angry the sequel doesn’t outpace the original. Bullshit.”

With that said, I suppose I don’t even have to write the rest of the review; it writes itself. But I will, because while it explores similar musical style, the underlying emotions feel more like Mutations than Mellow Gold or 1996’s masterpiece in question. The album kicks off with “E-pro’s” chugging guitar and “na-na-na-na” chorus, a bit more rock than normal, but still very vintage Beck. Next up, “Que Onda Guero” settles into the junkyard-funk sound that has become Mr. Hansen’s trademark–despite the fact he’s probably released twice as many discs as a singer-songwriter.

From there on out, a melancholy tone underrides much of the proceedings–for all its blips, beeps and slide-guitar bridges, “Girl” is more Postal Service-wistful than hands-in-the-air funky. Same can be said for “Missing” and “Earthquake Weather” and “Broken Drum,” which conjure up more overt Sea Change-with-beats comparisons.

There’s a sense here that while Beck definitely still has the Quirky Funk in him, he now has to conjure it up on purpose; it no longer seems to flow from the inner reaches of his being. Most of the time this is fine; mediocre Beck is still more interesting than 90% of the rest of the music out there, but there are times he feels like he’s phoning it in. “Hell Yes” feels like Beck-by-numbers more egregiously than the rest of the disc. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll bounce from frat-parties and indie-rock gatherings alike, but that’s part of the problem. It seems designed specifically for that purpose, rather than being just that good. Elsewhere, “Black Tambourine” is a few tracks undercooked, with the core ideas being good ones, but not enough to carry the track.

Still– a few missteps here and there is nothing to get bent out of shape about. One hopes this album will give Beck a few more well-deserved big hits and finance future projects. In the meantime, he promised a return to the past and delivered. So what if it was a little too much of what was expected? You can’t have it both ways, and this rides well on both sunny and rainy days, something you can’t say for most discs. – (7/10)

——————————————————

Order something from Gueros.

Sus gueros son mas pequenos de neustros gueros.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2017 Nada Mucho