Beck - Colors
Rumors of Beck's next “back to basics” album seem to have been in the air for at least a couple of years now. Almost as soon as his last effort, 2014's Morning Phase won a Grammy for album of the year, word was out that there was more Beck to come. And a different Beck at that. Well that time is now as Colors, his 11th “proper” studio album, has arrived in all of its light hearted glory. Somewhere over the last decade this idea of a schizophrenic Beck started taking shape. A narrative suggesting that he and his multiple personalities were completely unpredictable as to how they would take shape from album to album, or even song to song. As a fan of almost all of Beck's work, “proper” and improper releases combined, I would argue that his aesthetic has been for the most part consistent and reliable. The fact that he and his music would mature or deviate from the last effort seems no more spasmodic than changes associated with any artist. I have always felt that Beck was a curator of some sort before all else, someone who knew what was cool, what works and what didn't, and his M.O. was to see how many ideas he could blend together without sacrificing cohesion, relative to either a single body of work or his expanding discography. Not so much erratic as he was daring. His willingness to try new things has never felt so sudden or surprising that I didn't know who I was listening to. That is until now, as Colors seems to be a concerted effort to be the Beck that people want him to be, and that is a Beck that I am personally unfamiliar with. It’s my belief that Colors will be a very popular record. What it has in common with his previous efforts is that his primary collaborator will shape the finished product. This time around his co-producer is Greg Kurstin, best known for his work with Adele, Kelly Clarkson and Sia among others. Kurstin’s impact is certainly felt and that sense of broad mainstream appeal is undeniable in these ten tracks. The production is smooth, the hooks are ready made, and there are legions of youths that are ready and willing to sing along to these purposefully vague allusions to partying, being in pursuit of love, and just livin' life, “like, wow.” Over the last 25 years Beck has proven that he deserves his reputation as a major player in the alternative music scene and over the last four years, he has found himself well within reach of a more mainstream audience. Only time will tell if his latest shift was just another sea change or the slow train coming from the other end of the tunnel. (Adam)
Check out a track here.