“Bienvenido de vuelta signor Beck”. True to the observation of his roller-coaster form, Beck followed up the dull Sea Change with a much more inventive and engaging effort.
Beck is at his best when he mixes up his genres. He knows how to cherry-pick the best bits from each and meld them into something new and exciting. This time its the Latino music scene that is his hunting ground. And he generates a sun-blasted, tequila-swilling, piñata-bashing feel without sounding condescending or try-hard.
The opening few tracks on this album are Beck at is his most entertaining. They set the scene for a giant party. While he chose Girl as a single, the standout tune is Qué Onda Guero. This may well be his best tune of all time. Crazily he hasn’t made a video for it (as far as I can find). A guy did a nice job of editing together one (based on Thai film Ong Bak):
The album really drops off after track 5 as it loses the Latin feel. Go it Alone and Rental Car almost rescue the “second side” here, but if this were a record I ‘m not sure I’d be turning it over much.
File under: All the gold’s on one side