I'm a big Beck fan. From Stereopathetic to Modern Guilt, I'm with the guy, and a true proponent of his brilliance and good influence on the contemporary music scene as we know it today. But the quality of this book is only half indebted to him. A very equal share must be attributed to the photographer, Autumn de Wilde, of course. Surprisingly unknown by many (myself included until recently), Autumn's photographs are saved to computers and gracing bedroom walls in the form of some of the most important musicians of the last 20 years (Wilco, Elliott Smith, The White Stripes, etc.).
With this book, her extensive working relationship with Beck is depicted--one which has the dual quality of presenting both a professional, photo-shoot style, as well as a more spontaneous, off-the-record collection. Both are presented together, and both highlight her wide array of skills as a photographer. The range of emotions in this set is fantastic. From strange, to hilarious, to hauntingly sad, the book takes you on a unpredictable ride through various settings and and intentions. And while it is of course Beck's idiosyncratic magnetic pull that compels you to open the book, it is Autumn's keen eye that will get you to the end.
I like this book because it is not just a collection of photography or a pictorial biography, but both. And maybe neither at the same time. It does offer a glimpse at their friendship in the form of written "Conversations" (with thoroughly interesting anecdotal stories of Beck's early days). But at the same time, it doesn't spell everything out in a dreary, chronological manner. The book is a glance at the paths of two artists where their lives have been fortunate enough to intersect. And even more fortunately than that, it's been compiled in a beautiful collection for us to join them. You should take a look. You'll like what you see.