Customer Review

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Guilt, 29 July 2008
This review is from: Modern Guilt (Audio CD)
Like I said above, nearly all the reviews I've read for Modern Guilt have praised it as a return to form, "best since Sea Change", and that sort of garbage. Lazy, lazy journalism, particularly considering I read the exact same things about previous two albums (and bona fide clinkers) Guero and The Information. Where Modern Guilt outshines those albums is in its length, as both were at least twice as long as the half-hour Modern Guilt. That, and the music.

Which is fantastic. For reasons I don't understand, this Beck album took me the longest to get into. Well, of the ones I like. The less said about the boring Mellow Gold and the HIDEOUS Midnite Vultures the better. I was initially put off by how minimalist the album sounds. After about three listens, I was completely and utterly dependent on it. I couldn't do without it. Still can't. Strange that, isn't it? I think the reason for it is that I like the songs, or something.

Seriously though, the songs are fantastic. From the opener "Orphans" to closer "Volcano", there's not a duff moment on here. Plus, not one of the songs outstays its welcome. Once the verses, choruses and bridges have had their moment, its onto the next one. "Gamma Ray" is about the funnest song of the summer so far, "Chemtrails" has some incredible drumming and eerie vocals, "Modern Guilt" is relentlessly catchy, "Youthless" and "Replica" sound like Guero culls, "Walls" could pass for a Gnarls Barkley song (thanks Danger Mouse), "Soul of a Man" is sleazy as anything, "Profanity Prayers" is a super-happy bass fest and "Volcano" is perfect. The songs are as sparse as the artwork, but Beck doesn't need to layer his songs full of washboard solos and Schubert to be great. Modern Guilt's your proof.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Aug 2008 17:35:18 BDT
Lazy lazy journalism?
It isn't that. Most people who write on here write because they are passionate about something and they want to air opinions. This is not an academic site. If people want to become journalists they realise that writing on shopping websites will do 0% for a career. Just thought i'd correct that assumption for you.

Oh, and a clever way to disguise your true feelings for the album.
" For reasons I don't understand, this Beck album took me the longest to get into." That would be because it isn't as good as the others.
" Plus, not one of the songs outstays its welcome. Once the verses, choruses and bridges have had their moment, its onto the next one" A nice way of flowering over the facts that the album is rushed, and the songs end too abruptly.

I'm not quite sure why you gave it 5 stars, you say the same things I do .

:)

Posted on 7 Aug 2008 18:13:18 BDT
Paul McNamee says:
When I say journalism, I don't mean the people who write for Amazon, I mean the people who get paid to write reviews for magazines. What's this they're called? Journalists?

Why would I want to disguise my true feelings for the album? Seriously, why? I feel exactly the way I do and that is why I wrote exactly what I wrote. In regards to your second criticism, I'd much rather have short songs than the repetitive 8-minuters of Metallica's St. Anger.

:(

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2008 12:43:31 BDT
Having Metallica and Beck in the same paragraph for whatever reason is crazy, why did you do that? They are not comparable artists.

As I stated in my own review, I love shorter songs. Some of my favourite albums are no more then half an hour long, and I adore the mastery of the 2 minute song length... if artists can do an awesome songs in 2 minutes it proves to me they are a cut above most others, who feel the need to ramble on.

However, Beck is a different kind of artist. He needs to go off on tangents... find me some short Beck that isnt his One foot in the Grave stuff.. it's quite rare. That stuff is short because it needs to be. The Modern guilt short stuff is short because the production is rushed... the whole album is, look, we know why that is, new record label and all that. That's all I'm saying.

Do you not get the impression after listening to this album that it was all about Danger Mouse and Beck was more of an afterthought? Beck's voice is quite delicate and most of the beats dont work and simply drown it out.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Aug 2008 21:59:43 BDT
Paul McNamee says:
No, I just think you are using that as an excuse not to like it. People change. Styles change. And you aren't happy because Beck didn't release one of his two most popular album types, and went for something new.

I also think you're overestimating just how much input Danger Mouse had into the album. Don't blame everything you don't like on him. Ultimately, creative control and the final word is all on Beck.

For the record, its not a case of rush-for-the-new-label either, as it was released on Interscope in America like always. I imagine getting the distribution with XL over here was nothing more than an afterthought.

This is a good discussion :)

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Aug 2008 16:22:27 BDT
Well.. if you say so, my American friend.

We don't really agree on much, but hey, thats the beauty of music right? I don't think there's any question that this album will sell, heck, I bought it because of the artist on the side of the case, without knowing anything about this album other then that Danger Mouse was helping out.
And therein lies the problem. I can't stand Gnarles Barkley - so perhaps I was destined to hate this album.
Anyway, yes, it's nice to see a fellow 'normal' person on here, I am so sick of seeing reviews which is essentially "ONE STAR. CRAP SHORT ALBUM. GRRRRRR" I can't believe things like that get posted. No help at all.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2009 23:47:57 BDT
Your review is no help either as u seem to think the brilliant Mellow gold and extremely funky midnight vultures are rubbish albums, Modern guilt is probably his worst album ever, including the sporadic, half song nonsence of stereopathetic soul manure, however i'd still say it's better than most of the crap released today
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