Day 130: Beck – Odelay

8 Jul

Where It’s At

“Going back to Houston, to get me some pants” sings Beck at the end of Lord Only Knows.  I think that lyric sums up this record pretty well.   This is a weird, extra normal, and for some reason, unexplainably awesome record.

Before I listened to Odelay, pretty much all I knew by Beck was Loser, a fairly popular single of his.  I’ve always loved that song for one reason—it’s so weird.  Whenever it comes on the radio, it sounds drastically out of place next to the standard rock music that it’s played around.  More of that strangeness is what I was hoping to get out of Odelay, and I was not disappointed.

Beck does what he wants.  In a single record of his, you can expect to hear at least one sample from pretty much every genre under the sun.  There’s no formula or anything, Beck just uses whatever is necessary to make awesome sounding stuff.  Because of this, he doesn’t fit neatly into any single genre.  On Odelay, I heard pieces that could be classified as hip-hop, indie rock, pop, folk, anti folk, noise, and even classical.  By bending genres so easily, Beck makes sure that his music never gets repetitive or boring—there is so much available for him to draw from.

The only thing that’s consistent throughout Odelay is the strangeness of it all.   From lyrics to instrumentals, and even including that album cover, Beck could never be described as normal.  His tunes are a nice break from everything, just because they’re like nothing else out there.

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3 Responses to “Day 130: Beck – Odelay”

  1. David Chops July 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    The only thing potentially stranger than this album is Beck’s abiding affection for Scientology.

    As Bud says to Otto in Repo Man:

    Did you read that book I gave you?
    – What book?

    “Dioretix. The Science of
    Matter over Mind”. You better read it, and quick.
    That book will change your life.
    Found it in a Maserati in Beverly Hills. Know what I mean?

    But Beck has made some good albums. Personally, I have some love for The Information and less affection for his folkie side.

  2. B. Frank July 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Aunt P thinks he is to rock what Miles Davis is to jazz. The birth of the cool.

    • Yuanny Dollar July 9, 2011 at 9:19 am #

      Scientology? Not my problem I guess (except for the enslavement stuff). Think of it as a high-priced “therapist” that some people need to cope and/or thrive. As far as I know, unlike predatory “therapists”, Scientologists don’t spend all their time sleeping with vulnerable patients, they just take their money. Kind of like an agent, I guess.

      Just know Loser? What about Beck’s work with Jack White on the mariachi Conquest, etc. Worth seeking out for fun. Recorded in Beck’s living room, as I recall.

      Beck as Miles Davis? I don’t know. I guess I’ll say Brian Ferry did cool cooler than Beck.

      As for Beck as Beck? Would there be a Girltalk without Beck? Some smart kid asked me that the other day. And, before we starting dogging Girltalk, put some on. Turn down the lights, turn up the strobe, and try not to enjoy.

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