Beck: Colors

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Posted October 27, 2017 by in Pop
beck-01-header

Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

3.5/ 5

Details

Genre: , ,
 
Producer:
 
Label:
 
 
 
 
Genre: Pop, rock, funk , psychedelic pop
 
Producer: Greg Kurstin, Beck
 
Label: Capitol
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc, vinyl
 
Time: 39:39
 
Release Date: 13 October 2017
 
Spin This: "Dreams, "I'm So Free," "Up All Night"
 

Pros:

Surprising as it seems, Beck delivers a delicious poppy record. "Dreams" is bound to be a contender for one of the year's finest jams
 

Cons:

Burdened with too many of the same riffs and a lack of ballads to balance things seems to eat at Colors
 

Beck surprisingly cranks up colorful jams on Morning Phase followup

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Beck surprisingly cranks up colorful jams on Morning Phase followup

beck-01On his thirteenth album Colors, the multi-instrumentalist and big-time Grammy winner Beck is on an ambitious trip to explore the pathos of funk and the widest rhythmic curves indie rock can possibly glide on. It’s a risky assignment, considering how well received his last album, the Grammy-winning Morning Phase, was. That disc covered mountaintop experiences laden with string overtures and Appalachia-drenched folk, all amounting to some of Beck’s finest work. On the Greg Kurstin co-produced Colors, he does a complete 180 and goes straight to the ear of pop dwellers. The whizzy opening cut, “Colors,” gets the party going. Plenty more ensue: “Seventh Heaven” plays like an MGMT-tinkered disco record; “No Distraction” cranks up with a “Message In a Bottle” force; “Up All Night” leverages pop disco and ethereal vocals with Chic-inspired magic. And “I’m So Free” brings together rowdy P!nk pop and breezy West Coast rock elements, mostly held up by his psychedelic-spiked falsetto.

The album’s high point is clearly “Dreams,” a breezy riff-focused workout powered by Coldplay sweet swooning and Escort disco. “She’s making me high,” Beck echoes across a radiant stream of earworm magic propped up by throwback guitar riffing. Especially when the surprising slowed-tempo bridge enters, this is what it would feel like if My Morning Jacket has been possessed with boogie fever.

But the ten-track disc (eleven, when including the slightly altered “Colors Mix” of “Dreams”) plays like a parade of dance. For some albums that works. But the beats start to sound alike here, like an endless concert done at the same tempo and with the same charm. The hip-hop laced “Wow” (yes, Beck raps), the Elton John-esque piano of the honky “Dear Life” and the adorable closer, a dossal “Fix Me,” offers something totally different to the soundtrack, but most of these selections are totally forgotten inside the program due to the mammoth jams that bookend them. Colors is still a riveting follow-up to Morning Phase, ripe with gorgeously designed dance floor rock. It’s just not as sensational or fulfilling.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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