Sunday, 17 May 2009

All Is Not Lost

Here's another in the series of the 'just in case you missed it' posts; although there are some real Beck classics buried on this U.K. e.p. release, and if you only know 'Loser' from the Mellow Gold album, well, you may have missed a couple of right little gems.

Beck, in the early days, became known for mixing it up; mashing and fusing together genres often as disparate as country and western and trip-hop.
But from early on in his career, it also became clear that Beck possessed a Brian Wilson type imagination for sound, juxtaposing instruments that had rarely been heard together, and certainly not in genres Beck chose for them.

The downbeat 'Totally Confused' benefits from this imaginative ear, featuring a wonderful production and arrangement, and is one of my all time favourite Beck tracks as a consequence (I've always preferred this era Beck to the later varieties. Sometimes less really is more).
The song is sung for the most part as a duo - Beck's wispy vocal accompanied by an even wispier female voice - with a lazy kit right at the front of the mix, guitar and bass picking and maintaining rhythm, eventually joined by a ghostly violin dropping in from nowhere, taking over the vocal line.
All manifesting in a beautifully recorded... what...? blues?

'Corvette Bummer' paves the way for Odelay, as it could easily fit with its trip-hopy percussion, scratching and distorted vocal.

The final track, 'MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack', is a version unique to this U.K. release (as are all the tracks apart from the title), and here Beck decides to ditch the traditional acoustic version he begins the song with and adopts a lounge style instead.
Beck - Loser (1994)

Totally Confused
Corvette Bummer
MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack

CD rip
Get lost in Beck's music here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Give the sort of "reality" characters who are on MTV now (rather than any musical content at all), Beck's song title was not only satirical, but prescient. MTV today is a bunch of drunks and other substance abusers with a camera pointed at them.