Saturday, September 12, 2009

958. Beck - Sea Change (2002)

Track Listing

1. The Golden Age
2. Paper Tiger
3. Guess I'm Doing Fine
4. Lonesome Tears
5. Lost Cause
6. End Of The Day
7. It's All In Your Mind
8. Round The Bend
9. Already Dead
10. Sunday Sun
11. Little One
12. Side Of The Road


I have pretty mixed feelings about this album. Beck's shift from sampler extrordinarie to ballady acoustic man is not a terrible shift. He is quite competent at doing this stuff. However I get annoyed at the terminal derivativeness of the thing.

OK, he is derivative of good things, like Serge Gainsbourg or Nick Drake, but it goes to a point, particularly on the second track, Paper Tiger, where I was in doubt if this was a sample from Melody, the first track of L'Histoire de Melody Nelson. Then in Round the Bend he heavily borrows strings from Drake's River Man. Well this might all be nice and intentional and "tributey" but if so he should give credit for it.

So that is why I am conflicted here, I like the album at a basic level, but the more I think about bits of it the more it annoys me. Because then I don't know if I like Beck's music or just the music he steals from. Should I like this guy because he steals form people I actually like, hence sounding a bit like them? Truth is I still like the way it sounds. Oh the existential dilemmas!

Track Highlights

1. Lost Cause
2. The Golden Age
3. Paper Tiger
4. Guess I'm Doing Fine

Final Grade

I'm so conflicted!

9/10 (grumble grumble)


From Wikipedia:

Much of Beck's trademark recondite, ironic lyrics are replaced by more sincere, simpler lyrical content. On Sea Change, Beck eschews the heavy sampling of his previous albums for real, live instrumentation. In interviews, Beck cited the breakup with his longtime girlfriend as the major influence on the album.

Lost Cause:


Anonymous said...

Is it me or you post your albums reviews faster and faster.
Do you still do the "at least
3 listenings to be honest" thing ?
Or are you ,just like me, a little bit tired of the 1001 albums marathon and loosening things up a little bit?
Anyway,good job as always..
S├ębastien from France.

Francisco Silva said...

Naa, I do listen to them, often more like 9 times. I only make one post a day. Sometimes I leave it a bit longer.

The way it works is I have 3 albums on rotation. Each day one leaves and a new one comes in. This way I listen to the same album three days before it leaves and listen to two others at the same time. At the moment I'm listening to Justin, The Vines and The Hives. Next post will be Justin Timberlake and then Radiohead comes in and I will be listening to The Vines, The Hives and Radiohead.

Although I am looking forward to finishing it and starting some other project.