814. Beck - Odelay (1996)
1. Devils Haircut
3. Lord Only Knows
4. The New Pollution
8. Where It's At
12. High 5 (Rock The Catskills)
Beck's Odelay is one of those albums that helped define the music of the second half of the 90s. It is not hard to see why, using hip-hop sample techniques in music that bares some resemblance to hip-hop but is clearly a distinct style. The sampling is used in great and innovative ways, and Beck crafts perfect songs throughout.
Beck always makes me itchy, mainly due to his deep connection to Scientology, still that really has no impact on the quality of his music, and is therefore not really relevant to how good an artist and musician he is. And at least from this album he is really great.
This is one of those albums that I listened to almost to the point of exhaustion for the first two years of University, as I broadned my musical horizons, so none of this is really new to me, but seeing it now in context it gains another relevance, and you can see just how original it is. Both retro and innovative, Odelay is a truly great album.
1. Where It's At
2. The New Pollution
3. Devil's Haircut
The title is a phonetic English rendering of the Mexican slang greeting "orale." The phrase "odelay" is repeated in the lyrics during the outro of the song "Lord Only Knows".
The album's unusual cover photo, which has been misinterpreted as a mop head jumping over a hurdle, is actually a real photo of a Komondor, a rare Hungarian breed of dog with thick matted hair. This came after Bush released their album Sixteen Stone, which featured a similar looking dog called a Puli being thrown into the air on the inside cover.
The image was chosen at the last minute after Beck failed to decide on an album cover. The image was presented to him by his girlfriend and was chosen almost out of desperation. The typeface was chosen by a record company worker.
Where it's At: