43. Beck -“Midnite Vultures”

My eyes, my eyes. We have an ugliest cover winner.  I’m not sure what they were going for here, but the plastic pants, freak young John Howard mask and intergenital lasers are the opposite of eye candy (ocular brocolli?).

beck-midnite-vultures-album-coverFortunately the adage “don’t judge a book…” applies.  This is Beck as lovechild of Prince, Rick James and Kraftwerk (maybe the latter influenced the weird headgear). 

Beck has found himself a tight little band, and it is persistent use of them throughout this album which makes it more consistent than Odelay. Gone is much of the sampling and gizmo-fiddling, although the electo undertones have not been abandoned.

The sexy swagger on Nicotine and Gravy is the standout, while  Hollywood Freaks and Sexx Lawsare neat little efforts (even if the latter’s chorus is on the lame side). Mixed Business and Debra feel like they were lifted from Prince’s (better) songbook.

This is not a perfect effort.  Beautiful Way sits uncomfortably as a slow and dull tune. Pressure Zone isn’t much better.

The album doesn’t quite hit the Odelay highs, but it is more consistent in its pursuit of this hybrid electronic-funk thing.

File under: Funky fusion

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