I am getting quite doddery with age. I completely forgot I owned this earlier pre-major label effort from the world’s only cool Scientologist.
This is Beck as folkster – before he discovered music-making equipment beyond a guitar, some crude percussion and a microphone – and thus showcases his songwriting at its rawest, revealing an endearing sensitivity.
Beck as busker is fun. Sounding like a more relaxed (and talented) Will Oldham, he rattles off a series of short ditties, each overflowing with lyrics that are more coherent than much on Mellow Gold or even Odelay.
I am impressed and engaged. Bereft of the trickery and gimmickry of his subsequent star version, I get a stronger sense of his underlying abilities and (dare I say it?) soul.
Of course, given the choice of who to see on stage, I’d still take the much more entertaining showman option. But, if I were to stumble into a little folk club and this dude was on stage, I’d be rapt.
As an aside, this is the 19-track Aussie pressing with a weird 1 minute gap at the end of Hollow Log, which is on all accounts rare and perhaps worth gazillions. All bids welcome 🙂
File under: Lo-fi folk fun