41. Beck – “Mutations”

OK, we’re back in the world of Beck. And he’s maintaining his chameleonic ways. Gone are much of the tricky electronics. Back is the guitar, the linear lyrical path, the singing.

beck-mutations-album-coverThis isn’t a throw-back to his “One Foot…” days however. Here the production quality is first rate. Thus he sounds less like a folky troubador and more like a slick (-ish) West Coast singer-songwriter. If it wasn’t for the inherent humour/quirkyness in his wordsmithing, this could be a little too Eagles-y, but thankfully he doesn’t go that far.

On all accounts this was meant to be a ‘small-time’, minor-label release that he could sneak out before wowing us with his next ‘big’ innovative outing. I personally find this quite an endearing effort. It isn’t groundbreaking. It doesn’t wow. But it is thoroughly engaging listening and another reminder that he is just a guy who knows how to construct a sweet-sounding tune.

Of course, he was never going to be a superstar with this sort of schtick, but maybe the world doesn’t need too many superstars!

File under: Music for music’s sake

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