I’m not going to feign any prescience here. I didn’t purchase this album when it was first released. I thought Beck’s Loser debut single was merely a quirky novelty tune, sort of like Radiohead’s Creep. While I remain wedded to the latter opinion (and the view that Yorke and Co may be the most overrated musical act of my generation), I changed my tune on Mr. Hansen with his second album.
So I’ve always assessed this album with an awareness of what Beck was capable of achieving. The album is frustrating in that light. Beck has always walked a fine line between catchy and innovative on one hand and indulgent and irritating on the other.
This album leans far too much towards the latter. The production quality is often poor. The vocals are murky (and on a couple of tracks the levels are all messed up). When he nails a song it is very good. Loser actually holds up well. Pay No Mindis Dylan-esque. Beercan is most indicative of what he would become, while Truckdrivin’ Neighbors is annoyingly catchy. The rest is pretty forgettable however, condemning this album to much hitting of the ‘SKIP’ button.
File under: Non-essential back catalogue.