A number of previous reviews have focussed on comparing this to Beck's earlier releases, some favourably, some less so. Well, this is the first Beck CD I've picked up (spur of the moment after seeing him perform some of these tracks on 'Later'), so I guess this is a 'stand-alone' review - i.e. without reference to past glories.
It's quite understated (minimalist production, vocals low in the mix), so it takes a few plays to get under your skin - but once the individual songs register, it just keeps getting better. There's a slow burning groove to many of the tracks - it would make a great party album (assuming your party goers are old enough to look beyond the top 10).
The lasting impression is of subtly catchy tracks driven along by a slow-cooked mix of bass riffs, hand claps and finger snaps, overlaid with low key but tuneful vocals.
Some of the tracks rock (E-Pro, Rental Car), some have a old-timer county twang (Farewell Ride, Emergency Exit), others are almost pure rythmn (Black Tambourine), and Broken Drum is just beautiful, but with the possible exception of the final bonus track Chain Reaction they all stand - indeed develop with - repeated plays.
PS inspired by reviews of other Beck albums, I've since picked up the highly rated Sea Change album. It's a great if very different album (haunting breakup songs rather than grooves - Broken Drum would slot right in), but it doesn't diminish Guero. Ignore the nay-sayers; there's room for more than one style in an artist's pantheon, and Beck is talented enough to deliver across genres in spades - Guero is ace.