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Amg Review Of Guero


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#1 mellow

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:11 PM

http://www.allmusic....10:2kxsa9rge23k

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Ever since his thrilling 1994 debut with Mellow Gold, each new Beck album was a genuine pop cultural event, since it was never clear which direction he would follow. Kicking off his career as equal parts noise-prankster, indie folkster, alt-rocker and ironic rapper, he's gone to extremes, veering between garishly ironic party music to brooding heartbroken baroque-pop, and this unpredictability is a large part of his charm, since each album was distinct from the one before. That remains true with Guero, his eighth album (sixth, if you don't count 1994's Stereopathetic Soul Manure and One Foot in the Grave, which some don't) but the surprising thing here is that it sounds for all the world like a good, straight-ahead, garden variety Beck album, which is something he's never delivered prior to this 2005 release. In many ways, Guero is deliberately designed as a classicist Beck album, a return to the sound and aesthetic of his 1996 masterwork Odelay. After all, he's reteamed with the producing team of the Dust Brothers, who are widely credited for the dense, sample collage sound of Odelay, and the light, bright Guero stands in stark contrast to the lush melancholy of 2002's Sea Change while simultaneously bearing a knowing kinship to the sound that brought him his greatest critical and commercial success in the mid-'90s. This has all the trappings of being a cold, calculating maneuver, but the album never plays as crass. Instead, it sounds as if Beck, now a husband and father in his mid-'30s, is revisiting his older aesthetic and sensibility from a new perspective. The sound has remained essentially the same it's still a kaleidoscopic jumble of pop, hip-hop and indie rock, with some Brazilian and electro touches thrown in but Beck is a hell of a lot calmer, never indulging in the lyrical or musical flights of fancy or the absurdism that made Mellow Gold and Odelay such giddy listens. He now operates with the skill and precision of a craftsman, never dumping too many ideas into one song, paring his words down to their essentials, mixing the record for a wider audience than just his friends. Consequently, Guero never is as surprising or enthralling as Odelay, but Beck is also not trying to be as wild and funny as he was a decade ago. He's shifted away from exaggerated wackiness which is good, since it wouldn't wear as well on a 34-year-old as it would on a man a decade younger and concentrated on the record-making, winding up with a thoroughly enjoyable LP that sounds warm and familiar upon the first play and gets stronger with each spin. No, it's not a knock-out, the way his first few records were, but it's a successful mature variation on Odelay, one that proves that Beck's sensibility will continue to reap rewards for him as he enters his second decade of recording.

http://www.allmusic....11:jzdyyl2jxpvb

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#2 Guest_almondjoy_*

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:26 PM

In many ways, Guero is deliberately designed as a classicist Beck album, a return to the sound and aesthetic of his 1996 masterwork Odelay... it sounds as if Beck, now a husband and father in his mid-'30s, is revisiting his older aesthetic and sensibility from a new perspective...Consequently, Guero never is as surprising or enthralling as Odelay, but Beck is also not trying to be as wild and funny as he was a decade ago. He's shifted away from exaggerated wackiness which is good, since it wouldn't wear as well on a 34-year-old as it would on a man a decade younger...winding up with a thoroughly enjoyable LP that sounds warm and familiar upon the first play and gets stronger with each spin. No, it's not a knock-out, the way his first few records were, but it's a successful mature variation on Odelay...

I really like this review. I haven't read them all, maybe five or six, but I like this one best cuz 1) he agrees with me and 2) he articulated what I couldn't, even to myself. I've been disappointed with Guero for some reasons and also in love with it for others. I also liked that he didn't seem to have a grudge against Beck as some of the other reviewers obviously did.

#3 mellow

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 05:32 PM

I also liked that he didn't seem to have a grudge against Beck as some of the other reviewers obviously did.

yea he's a pro. this is a real review site. they review Everything. they have TONS of reviews and are very helpfull :D

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#4 Cigarette

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 07:12 PM

In many ways, Guero is deliberately designed as a classicist Beck album, a return to the sound and aesthetic of his 1996 masterwork Odelay... it sounds as if Beck, now a husband and father in his mid-'30s, is revisiting his older aesthetic and sensibility from a new perspective...Consequently, Guero never is as surprising or enthralling as Odelay, but Beck is also not trying to be as wild and funny as he was a decade ago. He's shifted away from exaggerated wackiness which is good, since it wouldn't wear as well on a 34-year-old as it would on a man a decade younger...winding up with a thoroughly enjoyable LP that sounds warm and familiar upon the first play and gets stronger with each spin. No, it's not a knock-out, the way his first few records were, but it's a successful mature variation on Odelay...

I really like this review. I haven't read them all, maybe five or six, but I like this one best cuz 1) he agrees with me and 2) he articulated what I couldn't, even to myself. I've been disappointed with Guero for some reasons and also in love with it for others. I also liked that he didn't seem to have a grudge against Beck as some of the other reviewers obviously did.

Or... some people just thought Guero wasn't very good...

#5 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 07:38 PM

Or... some people just thought Guero wasn't very good...

no not really alot of reviews that have been posted here are more of a grudge against Beck than a review of the album. i guess you haven't seen those???

whatever. this site is really the only internet review site that matters IMO. they'll been around the longest and review everything(!!!). even indie stuff and old albums and well eveything. they don't have a grudge with nobody, it seems. and they write good, mature reviews. even if they give an album a bad review they don't tear it down (which i respect alot)

#6 Cigarette

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 08:44 PM

Nah, I didn't read anyone's personal reviews. Just from my usual music news outlets.

#7 reckoner

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 09:28 AM

i think this is a good review too. he puts everything into perspective.
i've seen this guy's (Stephen Thomas Erlewine) reviews eveywhere and i generally agree with him. he's reviewed alot of stuff.

#8 mellow

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 02:51 PM

i think this is a good review too. he puts everything into perspective.
i've seen this guy's (Stephen Thomas Erlewine) reviews eveywhere and i generally agree with him. he's reviewed alot of stuff.

yea i've seen lots of Stephen Thomas Erlewine reviews for lots of artists i like and i agree with him most of the time. it's cool cause he seems to have some of same taste in music as me (so that helps)

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#9 Guest_almondjoy_*

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 02:04 PM

In many ways, Guero is deliberately designed as a classicist Beck album, a return to the sound and aesthetic of his 1996 masterwork Odelay... it sounds as if Beck, now a husband and father in his mid-'30s, is revisiting his older aesthetic and sensibility from a new perspective...Consequently, Guero never is as surprising or enthralling as Odelay, but Beck is also not trying to be as wild and funny as he was a decade ago. He's shifted away from exaggerated wackiness which is good, since it wouldn't wear as well on a 34-year-old as it would on a man a decade younger...winding up with a thoroughly enjoyable LP that sounds warm and familiar upon the first play and gets stronger with each spin. No, it's not a knock-out, the way his first few records were, but it's a successful mature variation on Odelay...

I really like this review. I haven't read them all, maybe five or six, but I like this one best cuz 1) he agrees with me and 2) he articulated what I couldn't, even to myself. I've been disappointed with Guero for some reasons and also in love with it for others. I also liked that he didn't seem to have a grudge against Beck as some of the other reviewers obviously did.

Or... some people just thought Guero wasn't very good...

Truth...but that's not what I'm referring to. I don't have examples handy but it seemed to me there were little jabs at him that had nothing to do with just honest criticism of the music.

#10 Suburban Spartacus

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 08:21 PM

That is by far the best review of Guero I have read so far. Somehow it expresses exactly how I feel about the album, even though I was having difficulty expressing it myself. Wow.
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