Review: Beck’s ‘Modern Guilt’

Beck ‘Modern Guilt’: Aidin Vaziri | They might be responsible for some of the most dependable party starters of all time ( “Devil’s Haircut,” “Crazy,”), but when Beck and Gnarls Barkley’s Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton come together in the studio, the confetti doesn’t exactly fly. “Modern Guilt” is introspective and impenetrable. It finds the flaxen-haired Los Angeles singer obsessing over conspiracy theories and environmental upheaval while the producer pumps out fuzzy psychedelic riffs, stomping rhythms and floating harmonies. Songs cut out abruptly, Beck sounds largely distracted, and, at just 35 minutes, it all seems somehow unfinished. Yet, epic songs such as “Replica,” “Chemtrails” and “Volcano” are not only the songwriter’s best in a long, long time, but also the source of a much-needed creative reinvention.

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