Beck – The Information

As most of you know I’m a big Beck fan. When Guero came out I did a track by track review. After a year and a half my opinion on Guero hasn’t changed much. It hits and misses and certainly isn’t up there with his better rock albums like Odelay and Midnight Vultures.

Since Beck released Mutations in 1998 he’s been switching back and forth between rock and folk albums, so pattern should be make The Information a folk album right? Evidently not. In interviews Beck has said this album took him three years to make on and off, so that means a lot of it was started before or after Guero.

Watch the Eraserhead-esque video for Cellphone’s Dead:

The Information takes a few listens to get into and the first three songs just get better and better. Elevator Music sounds like the better tracks on Mutations (my least favorite Beck album, by the way), Cellphone’s Dead sounds like the actual slacker folk hip hop that Loser was supposed to be in 1993. I Think I’m in Love is the best track overall.

The first single, Nausea, comes in at track 5, but Strange Apparition before it just bores. Nausea is an acoustic rock jam that sounded a lot better live on SNL a few weeks ago.

Nausea performed live at the San Francisco Download Festival

The second half of the CD hasn’t caught on with me yet, but No Complaints could have a great song if Beck had played with the melody a little more. It’s too predictable. Compare that to 1000Bpm and it’s easy to see why he stuck the two tracks back to back, but 1000Bpm is a mess. And this is coming from someone who loves every track from Mellow Gold. No Complaints is still pretty good though.

I’ll end this review with one more video. This is Beck on 120 Minutes playing Pay No Mind.

And if you need more Beck, check out this interview from 1994.