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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 10 November 2013
Can't really work out what any of these songs are about but I like his singing style and his interesting lyrics.
Every time I put this album on I definitely here something new, it seems to possess some sought of narrative. The whole album feels slightly melancholy, which is no bad thing because it makes it more atmospheric, I gave it five stars because although it sounds derivative I think the production makes it original and unusual. Don't know which
genre this would fall into , maybe blues , folk perhaps some of it , I normally find genres a bit confusing perhaps Beck has one all his own, although his albums all seem different you can tell he's put a lot of work into this. Highly recommended!!!!
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on 21 September 2017
Poor album still good value for money
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on 7 June 2017
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on 3 January 2000
It took Beck less than a month to record and mix Mutations, and he didn't really consider it a proper follow up to Odelay. And yet, strangely, this album is perhaps the most revealing release in terms of deciphering the enigma that is Beck Hansen. It is, of course, great listening too.
Mutations is laid-back country and folk for the most part, and contains Beck's most sad and moving song to date. 'Nobody's Fault But My Own' paints a beautiful portrait of a vulnerable soul; all resignation and wistful longing set to a lovely Eastern throb. Even the single 'Tropicalia' demonstrates a lyrical mood at odds with the upbeat calypso backing: "Love is a poverty you couldn't sell/Misery waits in vague hotels". By the time 'Runners Dial Zero' draws the album to a funereal close, you have to wonder how Beck could ever be considered an emotional charlatan; there's nothing here but the glorious example of a man creating beauty out of a post-modern malaise without displaying the obvious emotional scars or trite couplets.
Mutations stands as a wonderful album and an essential piece of the strange Beck puzzle.
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on 10 December 2000
The LP that saw Beck mutate back from a funky jackass whiteboy hipster with two turntables and a microphone into a rather sombre countrified folkie. This is a wonderfully performed set of rootsy songs, albeit still with a wilful eclecticism evident (as on the latino-esque Lazy Flies and Tropicalia) and still featuring head-scratching lyrics.

The oddest thing, though, about Mutations is that Beck was at pains to declare it a 'stop-gap' release, when it stands by itself as possibly his finest body of work...but such is the contrary way of the boy Hansen. You've got to love him.
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VINE VOICEon 11 April 2008
Mutations is Beck's most melodious and accessible album, but that doesn't mean he's copped out. Beck is a sponge - yet to settle down into a style of his own, but absorbing influences from all everywhere, and fashioning his own versions of them all.
Although the pundits appear to think this album occupies the semi-acoustic rock territory ruled by REM etc, to me it feels mainly rooted in the 70s - think Led Zep and you have the sitar & hurdy-gurdy laden second track 'Nobody's fault but my own' , mix in Lindisfarne's blokiness and you have 'Bottle of blues'. In between you have some pure C&W in 'Cancelled check', bossanova fun in 'Tropicalia', and a waltz Tom Waits would be proud of in 'Sing it again'.
But there are still more gems - 'Diamond Bollo**s' has a wonderful 60s harpsichord intro before diving into heavy fuzz guitars and Dylan harmonica, and the final track 'Runners dial zero' is early Pink Floyd to me.
Beck may be a sponge, but he's soaking up all the right music.
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on 1 June 2009
Some of Beck's other albums are strung together with a common theme. Odelay has sample-fever, Midnite Vultures has party-fever etc. Mutations is difficult because it is a long collection of individually strong tracks but they all sound quite different from one another, so the change from one song to the next can sound slightly odd.

At the same time, his ability to shift gears so easily brands him as an auteur whose tools and talent are unlimited. With Beck on guitar, his syrupy drawl automatically makes him older and somehow wiser. Mutations is the mark of a musician who refuses to conform to the sound he's created and showcases a breaking out of all toys in Beck's toybox.

It's a slow burner, but that's why CD players have a repeat button I guess.
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on 18 May 2007
Mutations is a terrific album. I'm a big fan of Beck anyway, but I think this one was a slow burner. My two favourite Beck albums remain the hip-folk classic "Mellow Gold" and sprawling Prince-esque "Midnite Vultures", but this one is a long term gem. It's so mellow and considered, yet contains plenty of emotion - something that was missing from the last album, "The Information", and also seemed strangely absent from "Sea Change" - Beck's most similar release to this one.

For me, the best thing about this record is the simple, catchy tunes and lyrics that stay with you and invite you to sing along every time you hear it. "Cold Brains", "Nobody's Fault By My Own", "Cancelled Cheque", "We Live Again", "Bottle of Blues", "O Maria"... they are all low-key classics, and there's nothing really like them in the rest of my record collection.

In summary, a very good record that, despite it's melancholy feel always picks me up and makes me feel light.
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on 28 May 2010
This is the second time I have replaced Mutations - I play all of Beck's CD's to death so I have to replace them every 4 years or so. I would like to say Mutations is Beck at his best but he is always at his best. He's not scared to go out on a limb and make an album completely different for the time as is true of this one. When I first heard it it didn't make any sense for the first few listens but then you really get into it - in my opinion this is the sign of a good album as ones that are instantly likeable usually get boring after a short while. Mutations is a compilation of eclectic styles and rythms with Beck's usual million percussion instruments giving each song a distinctive and interesting sound and all with great lyrics! I just love Tropicalia and Diamond Bollocks. A brilliant album for anyone who likes something a bit different.
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on 6 October 1999
Ok how do you follow a ground-breaking album like 'Odelay' wellyou hit us with your surprise punch? We are all expecting the same kind of quirkiness that has become his trademark. Beck this time around gives us a mellower album that we could listen to with our parents. He opens up with 'Cold Brains' which is a great little number that has you singing the chorus on your first listen. This is a relaxed Beck who wants us to hear what be is saying as he struts his songs along some psychedelic music. Most of the songs on the album are going to make you tap your toes but never get you on a dance floor. There is some big country; folk influence such as on 'Lazy Flies' and 'Canceled Check' which you can picture him playing at some truck stop in America somewhere. But in true Beck fashion he never disappoints. There are some great surprises in store for you on this album. Watch out for 'Tropicalia' which was the single off the album.
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