Sunday, October 29, 2006

Beck - The Information

One of my favourite artists is back, once again giving us some more evidences on why he's a favourite and such a prolific musician. If every single one of his albuns has an identity of its own, "The Information" is no exception but in a totally surprising way. Up until now, we had lots of different and separated Becks with millions of influences, which we could vaguely divide in two categories: the excessive, luxurious and upbeat musician, mostly influenced by hip-hop and funk, a sampling-lover which we could hear in "Mellow Gold", "Odelay", "Midnite Vultures" and "Guero"; and the more introspective and serious Beck, influenced by classic musical genres such as country, folk or blues, shown in "One Foot In The Grave", "Mutations" or "Sea Change". With "The Information" and like last year's "Guero", he is once again influenced by his own past. But if "Guero" was mostly an update of 1996's "Odelay" (still widely seen as his best work to date), with his new album, and for the very first time, all of his personalities show up, appearing together and in harmony in each and everyone of these 16 new and brilliant songs. So, what do we have in "The Information"? Mostly, an impressive showroom of its author's universe, uniting disperse elements such as hip-hop, folk, funk, pop, krautrock, country, lo-fi, sampling, blues or psychadelic rock, putting together something so amazingly coherent as only his mind could create. Add to it a sophistication and some darkness only possible after years of experience, and a couple of the last songs, so hallucinating that they end up almost inventing a whole new musical genre (who said he couldn't take risks anymore?) and you end up having another classic Beck album. Is he getting all mature and grown-up? Yes, and that's a surprise, but in his case those are also wonderful news.

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