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Customer Review

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 songs, 34 minutes, one of his best!, 5 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Modern Guilt (Audio CD)
One thing is for sure that when you buy a Beck album, you never really know what to expect, such is the multi-faceted nature of the artist, and you definitely have to approach most of his albums with an open mind. If 'Modern Guilt' could be compared with any of his previous albums, then many of the songs are closest to the melodic melancholy of 'Sea Change', but with added beats, giving this release a fresh, original sound but with all the characteristics of what makes Beck's music so aurally appealing. Danger Mouse's production matches musical influences often steeped in the late 60's and early 70's with up-front, contemporary percussion, giving much of the album a split-personality sense of laid-back, detached urgency - and it is certainly an interesting combination.

There are plenty of excellent tracks here. The album opener, 'Orphans', featuring Cat Power, is a dark and restrained, but undeniably catchy, composition which could have come straight from 'Odelay'. 'Gamma Ray' has all the hallmarks of a classic modern psychedelic dance track, 'Chemtrails' is a swirling, psychedelic piece of lyrical paranoia and misery, while the title track, 'Modern Guilt' matches a classy, strings-embellished song which could have easily been lifted straight from Elliott Smith's songbook, if it wasn't for the impossibly jaunty beat. The other track to really demand my attention and capture my imagination is the last song, 'Volcano', which is a beautiful piece of dark, alternative folk and, once more, leaves me feeling like Elliott Smith is, in fact, alive and well.

Not every single track on this album is pure brilliance, in fact, there is a bit of a mid-album lull where the music merely gets close to ordinary, but it is the album's punchy 34 minute length consisting of just ten songs which makes this album a real winner and makes it one of Beck's more instantly likeable releases, proving that less sometimes really is more. I've enjoyed all of Beck's albums since 'Odelay' - with the exception of 'Midnite Vultures' - but I'd have to say I have enjoyed this one more than most.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jul 2009 19:54:23 BDT
Modern Guilt and Volcano are not a patch on Elliott Smith in my opinion...

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2009 00:49:46 BDT
Andy Sweeney says:
Depends on which songs you're talking about! I don't think they're as good as his best, but they have the same kind of aura as his work, that was what I was trying to say.
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