After a four-year break, Beck's new album is out. It's a lot of fun, but it brings up a LOT of questions. First, is it intended as a MINECRAFT soundtrack? Also, the weird packaging. I spent much of this week's review trying to decode it. And MIGHT have found a way to suss out its meaning. (Probably not.) Sonically, the album is an all-out explosion of pop. Which is unsurprising as Beck worked with Adele's producer Greg Kurstin on the 39 minute, 39 second album. Beck says he wanted something "uplifting" that's "neither retro nor modern." I like it, but find it to be not uplifting, and both retro and modern.
Something like how a future civilization's might depict the sound of our late '80s/early '90s for their nostalgic soundtracks. Songs seems fresh yet link to clear past influences. "Dear Life," many say, is like Elliott Smith doing the Beatles, then wrapping up with the Beach Boys' hymn "Our Prayer." "No Distraction" reminds me of the Fixx, "I'm So Free" is Nirvana redux. So it's Beck as always.
Anyone mistaking this pop candyscape as a joyous album haven't read the lyrics.