Musings on music delivered when I dig myself out.

Now I will do the funky robot while strumming my pain away

Or "Hell Yes," the first single off Beck's forthcoming album, Guero

During the chorus of "Hell Yes," Beck deadpans "I'm calling you out / I'm switching my place;" (I think those are the lyrics; I haven't been able to find confirmation) and if you've been paying attention to the wobbly instrumental, you already know what's going on. Guess who's back to making hip-flophouse music, motherfuckers! As if to make a complete the circle in his career, Beck has clawed his way out of Mopesville and retreated to the sound that made him a near household name.

But why? While never a real pioneer, Beck's always stayed fairly progressive -- never resting on his jellyfish laurels (if he can do it, so can I). He could have gone any number of ways after Sea Change, like to death metal or, say, dancehall. Of course these aren't the most perfect fit on Beck's slight form, but knowing his shape-shifting ways, he'd make it work (whether anyone would want him to is better left unanswered). What he does with his return to form is nothing if not nice: An insistent bassline pounds the pavement, off-kilter samples buck to and fro, and Beck's flipping gibberish while two-steppin'. It's comforting, familiar, and only a little weird. Doesn't feel like Beck is trying very hard to keep his own pace, but perhaps the rest of Guero will prove me a poor judge of character.

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