I have spent much of today unpacking boxes and sorting books in my new office. This mindless task, while interrupted regularly by colleagues bitching about their equally inhospitable new digs, was ideal for giving an album a good thorough listening too. Unfortunately the album in question was this snoozy one from Beck. Why couldn’t I have moved tomorrow and thus coincided with the ‘up’ album in his on-off cycle?
Apparently this album sprung from a relationship breakup for the poor Beckster. The heartache clearly made him miserable, and also a hell of a lot less creative. Rather than innovating and entertaining, he resorts to moping and sooking.
I am not against forlorn tracks, or sad laments from otherwise rocking artists. Such efforts can be touching insights into the ups and downs of life. But this set of hurt doesn’t connect with me. His voice is too soporific. The excessive use of strings is cliched. And the lyrics lack his usual ambiguity and playfulness.
The album is not without merit. His huge talent means he does deliver on a few tracks, but, all in all, it just doesn’t cut it.
Let’s hope he stays happy from now on…
File under: Overblown despondency