I’ve always loved Beck. When I heard his first single, “Loser,” I couldn’t stop laughing. It was a goofy song, but the rhymes rolled off his tongue like Dylan on “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” I had always assumed he’d be a one-hit wonder. I did like his song “Asshole,” that Tom Petty covered, but I thought I was alone on that one, well alone with Tom Petty anyway. It probably wasn’t until “Odelay” that I fully got on the bandwagon. That album is pure genius. There are layers and layers of sound, vocals and styles on that record. It took me a while to even decipher it. But at it’s core is a great sense of humor.
I soon discovered there were two sides of Beck. The “Odelay” or “Midnight Vultures” Beck, with groovy synths and loud dance-able beats and the other acoustic, mellow Beck. I really like both. I would actually say that acoustic/mellow Beck made me like funky/loud Beck even more. It gave him a bit of gravitas. His last full length album, “Morning Phase” came after a six year absence from Beck due to a serious back injury suffered at a video shoot. I loved “Morning Phase,” it was mellow but certainly not melancholy like say, “Sea Change.” I thought perhaps after the back injury, mellow/acoustic Beck was all that remained.
Then about a year ago (?) he released the upbeat, funky “Dreams” which is just a fantastic song. I was a little bummed to hear it in a car commercial the other day but that doesn’t diminish how much I like “Dreams.” It’s probably one of the best singles he’s done. I wondered, does this mean another album might be in the works? Could funky, synth, upbeat Beck return for a full length record? And then… nothing. All he released was that one single. Again, I thought perhaps “Dreams” was an aberration and funky Beck was truly gone.
Fast forward to yesterday when Beck surprised us with his new funky, single “Wow.” And I must admit, “wow” is exactly what I thought when I heard it. It announces it’s intention in the first spoken words, “Giddy up, giddy up.” Giddy up indeed, Beck. It has all his trademarks: spoken word, falsetto backing vocals, crazy rhymes, beats and synths. This isn’t classic rock, this is a music in it’s own genre. The Rock Chick was giddy when she first heard him come back with a song as strong as “Dreams.” I’m not sure I agree that this song is as strong as “Dreams” but when the Rock Chick is grooving, you let roll.
This one is a must-have for Beck fans. I read online he has a whole album in the can and might actually have half a second one done. After that six year gap, it’s nice to have funky/loud Beck back again!