Monday, 14 September 2009


Odelay is the next loosely alphabeticised CD in my collection, Beck’s album and the only one of his I own.
I recall the first time I heard Beck Hansen, it was on top of the pops and he was performing Loser, his debut hit with a band made up of pensioners on Top Of The Pops. He started breakdancing at some point and although I was only 24 it made me feel very very old. I did not get it at all and could not get my head round the sound he was producing. It was at that point an alien sound.
My wife likes to remind me of this, as I now consider Loser to be pretty special.
Beck is a scientologist, which in later years has tainted this album for me, its like its an excuse for his loopiness and his seemingly odd nonsensical lyrics. Kind of like if someone came out as Christian rock, ah, now that all makes sense. For Beck though it’s a little disappointing that he has fallen for all that, he possibly also believes that pro wrestling is real also.
What this album does do though is produce some of Beck’s very best songs, Where it’s at, Devils Haircut, New Pollution are just a few of the singles on the album, but also Lord Only Knows and Ramshackle remind you that for a different generation this guy is as talented as Dylan. Dylan did the whole spiritual thing as well though didn’t he?
Charlie Haden plays bass on this album, and Charlie Haden is the father in law of rock behemoth Jack Black, jack Black being one half of the worlds greatest rock band, Tenacious D, the producers of the D’s debut were the Dust Brothers and the producers of Odelay are indeed The Dust Brothers. That leads me rather neatly to say that without these knob twiddlers, twiddling the knobs, Odelay would be merely OK, but their presence and of course the strength of the songs helps me get past my scientology prejudices and enjoy the album for what it is.
No one really sounds like Beck, and Beck doesn’t really sound like anyone else and this is no doubt down to The Dust Brothers, neither act really got better than on this album, except Tenacious D’s self titled of course, and so it’s a rather healthy 8 out of 10.

Where It’s At by Beck

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