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I picked up 'Odelay' shortly afterwards and its one of the few CDs in my collection that I can listen to without skipping tracks. There's a mind-boggling range of styles on offer here, ranging from blues and folk, through lounge (listen to the intro to 'Where It's At') to hip-hop. Whilst there's a serious risk of the entire album drowning in a mish-mash of sound, it's to Beck's credit that he holds everything together.
Whilst Beck is obviously an extremely talented musician, the thing that makes this album for me is the vocals - most of the time he sounds half asleep, but for some reason it seems to work. Don't ask me why, it just does. The almost narcoleptic delivery adds an extra dimension to the slower songs, although some of the lyrics tend to be a bit obtuse.
There isn't really a bad track on this album, but for me the standouts are "Where It's At", the curiously uplifting "Lord Only Knows" and "Jackass", which is a supremely moving song, despite having a sample of a braying donkey at the end.
Don't let the fact that Beck is often lumped in with 'folk rock' artists put you off, this is an extremely varied album which is well worth a listen.