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"Modern Guilt " by Beck (2008)

"Modern Guilt " by Beck
Beck to Basics

Artist:

Beck

Album:

Modern Guilt

Released By:

Interscope Records

Released In:

2008

Reviewed By:

Kyle England

Reviewed On:

Wed Aug 6th, 2008

Grade:

4.0

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zBoneman on Rotten Tomatoes

It's hard to believe, but Modern Guilt makes album number ten for one Mr. Beck Hansen. Why it seems just yesterday and not 14 years ago that he was begging us to kill him for being such a loser. Modern Guilt comes two years after his album The Information and the previous years' Guero, two albums that were patchy and inconsistent at best and worst of all overly long. However, Modern Guilt nips those problems in the bud because at 10 tracks and 33 minutes in length this is one of Beck's most concise and consistent albums to date.

Chalk up some of that focus to superstar producer Danger Mouse who keeps Beck's self-indulgences in check throughout. His arrangements are a welcome breath of fresh air, even if it does seem that some of his production choices are leftovers from his other work. "Gamma Ray" unabashedly seems like a Gnarls Barkley song with Beck singing and "Soul of a Man" feels like an outtake of the newest D.M. produced Black Keys record. Not to say that any of that is necessarily a bad thing. Underneath all the slick production though lies an album that is right up there with Sea Change as being one of Beck's biggest downer records. Beck's own sense of mortality is on full display on tracks like the opening "Orphans" and "Chemtrails'" psychedelic odyssey about a sea of drowned people is completely harrowing. Not as instantly likeable as crowd pleasers such as Odelay or even Midnite Vultures, Modern Guilt is a grower of a record that on repeated listens is certainly better than its two predecessors

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