Beck at his best
Unless you are a die-hard fan, of which I suspect there are many, Beck’s prolific career seems to slip in and out of my musical radar. 2002′s sombre, sometimes po-faced, Sea Change was the last time I bought a Beck album, one which I now feel hasn’t stood the test of time. The Information marks a return to the surreal, hip hop-infused folk pop of Odelay, but with Nigel Godrich’s production retaining some of the more reflective, spacious moodiness of Sea Change.
It is a winning combination – from the opener Elevator Music it sounds like Beck has reidentified with his core personality, at once witty and funky but revisiting the bluesy slacker aesthetic that made him famous. Whereas Midnight Vultures or, arguably, Sea Change could be construed as an attempt by Beck to imitate (ironically or not) other artists, The Information could only be him: lo-fi, kitchen sink raps with hi-definition production. With over an hour’s worth of music, there is variety and varying degrees of experimentation, but it would be pointless to sift through this track by track here, suffice to say that he is back to his innovative best.