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4.4 out of 5 stars36
4.4 out of 5 stars
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2001
On the justifiably critically acclaimed 'Odelay' Beck seems to try his hand at virtually every genre under the sun........And seems to succeed at each increasingly ambitious attempt. The album, aside from the obvious brilliance of 'new pollution' and 'where it's at', is a simply stunning exhibition of Beck's clear genius. Highlights would have to be the opening bars of 'Where its at' and the entirety of 'novacane'. Cheers Beck, you've produced one of my top 5 albums!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2004
I 'discovered' Beck through a rather odd route, after he (or rather, his head!) guested in an episode of Futurama which included a rendition of 'Where It's At', complete with washboard break(!)
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 1999
There are theoretically speaking some rules or should we sayguidelines to music well Beck has taken everyone and ignored them to create his own style, which works really well. Beck is a wonder of music he does what others will not do on this album he starts of with 'Devils Haircut' is simply a great song fused by about eight different other styles of music to form one great song. In fact in this album Beck fuses every known style of music together to create his own. This 14 track extravaganza is also held together by 'Novacane and Where Its At' which is his ode to rap music and its place in music. Each song on the album is a lyrical delight and this album should be bought on sight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 1999
Though I've had this album for over three years I felt I needed to give a review due to the lack of them present at this site. This has got to be one of 1996s greatest albums, along with Eels Beautiful Freak, fusing hip-hop, pop, country, and alternative rock music. Beck really is a true ambassador for modern, contempary music and this is an album you must get. Stand out tracks include the singles New Pollution and Where it's at, and personal favourites are Novacane and Minus. Buy this album and be truely satisfied.
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on 24 February 2012
`Odelay' really defined the 90s in its kaleidoscopic collage of genres, mixing it all into a pot and handing it over to the master chefs, the Dust Brothers. Beck's lyrics are as obscure as ever, non-sequitur and all that, but the amazing thing is that you actually get those lyrics stuck in your head. As strange and otherworldly as those words seem, they are catchy as hell and won't leave your brain. There's food for thought.
The entire album is like that, songs that contain so many musical ideas it would be foolish to try and dissect them. "Devil's Haircut", "Lord Only Knows", "The New Pollution", "Where It's At", all incredible songs. Some songs aren't as well known, but are worth listening to nonetheless, like the Middle Eastern tinged "Derelict" or the melancholic "Readymade"
You don't need me to tell you this album is a must-buy. But I'll say it anyway.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2006
Ah Beck, now here is a talent.
This, his second album, produced by The Dust brothers, was even better than his debut, and established him as a major player.
He almost recklessly mixes lots of influences, from Grunge to Hip Hop, to Blues, he mangles everything up. Sonically he throws everything in including the kitchen sink, Tablas, chains, Harps, carboard boxes, harmoniums, feedback.... This just shouldn't work, but the genius of it is that it makes perfect sense in the way more conventional stuff never could...and there are some great tunes here that will stay with you long after the CD goes back in the box. At the time of Odelay, nobody was mashing stuff up like Beck.

His image of intelligent, wasted life conjures up a beautifully cinematic view of the slacker underdog. Go with him, he will take you places you never dreamed of.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2010
Ok, i have to start off by saying that i wouldn't recomend you buy Odelay as your first Beck album because it has a very full on sound to it......i'd ease yourself in with maybe 'Mutations' or 'Guero', that'll help you get the idea of who Beck is and what he's all about.

Now 'Odelay' ISN'T my favorite Beck album, i'd have to give that honour to 'Sea Change' & i guarantee you right now that some of you out there won't like this album, but if you've become bored with some of your bland commercial music & you want get away from all of that, this is the album for you. In my humble oppinion it is one of the greatest albums ever to grace this earth.

You can't really class Beck under any kind of "genre" and this album really underlines that fact, it's a real mish mash of songs, while you have some songs like 'Jack-Ass' & 'Ramshakle' that are very slow paced and melodic, you also have songs like 'Devil's Haircut' & 'Novacane' which have a really fast paced heavy metal-ish sound to them......& even then there are songs like 'Where it's at' & 'High 5' which have elements of Rap/Hip Hop to even if you don't like the album on a whole, there HAVE to be a few songs that you like because the album is so genre-bending.

In my oppinion everyone should have this album in their collection, it is as essential as Sgt pepper by The Beatles, Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan or Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, I really do hold it in that high a regard.

I thoroughly recomend that you buy this album.
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on 17 May 2011
I can't understand why anyone would give this album a rating under 3 stars, actually even that is too few stars because this is a truly remarkable album. It has got one of the most exciting atmospheres within and is really inspiring. If you are a fan of alternative music this is the most perfect album for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2014
great album enjoyed listening to it . Has a slight 60s vibe and is upbeat
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2015
Struggled with this one and still undecided, will persevere.
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