Beck – Odelay (1996) 10

Genre: Alternative Rock
Rating: 10

Track List:
1. “Devils Haircut” 3:14
2. “Hotwax” 3:49
3. “Lord Only Knows” 4:14
4. “The New Pollution” 3:39
5. “Derelict” 4:12
6. “Novacane” 4:37
7. “Jack-Ass” 4:11
8. “Where It’s At” 5:30
9. “Minus” 2:32
10. “Sissyneck” 3:52
11. “Readymade” 2:37
12. “High 5 (Rock the Catskills)” 4:10
13. “Ramshackle” 4:47
14. “Hidden Track (Computer Rock)” 0:43

Beck’s fifth and most successful album, Odelay, defied classification and categorization. Alternative in the truest definition of the genre, it didn’t sound like anything else at the time, giving permission to a generation of 90’s kids to say ‘fuck normal music’ and embrace their inner weirdos. Extreme genre experimentation, something Beck had been doing for a while, was now officially on the table.

Beck (and his producers, The Dust Brothers)’s ‘everything-but-the-kitchen-sink’ approach to Odelay is a master class in seamlessly blending obscure samples and genres within a single piece of art without sounding like a various artists comp. The album moves between the country folk influenced ‘Lord Only Knows’ and ‘Sissyneck’, through folk-rap hits like ‘Where It’s At’ and ‘Hotwax’, to the somber downer anthem of ‘Jack-Ass’ and a handful of intentionally disposable pop songs that many fans simply haven’t disposed of.  Through all this Beck manages to make room for a sprinkling of other musical styles including grungy garage rock, stiff-boned electro, louche exotica, old-school rap, noise rock, punk rock, bossa nova, Latin soul, mainstream R&B and more.

To say Odelay is an eclectic listening experience is an understatement.

Favourite Tracks: ‘Lord Only Knows’, ‘Devils Haircut’, ‘Where It’s At’ & ‘Jack-Ass’

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