Beck Guerolito by Phil Roylance

My friend and yours, Beck, has been whipping out albums for more than a decade now, and as far as this cracker is concerned, not a one has been raunchy, and he follows the mood of this statement with the release of Guerolito. What makes this album truly especial is that it’s good… I mean silly good… as a remix album. You just spewed Scooby-Doo Berry Bones all over your keyboard, didn’t you?

Yeah… a remix album that stands on its own as a bastardization of a previously successful album… well, maybe you have seen this unicorn in the record store somewhere else, but every remix I’ve heard is the result of a lazy artist that just wants to milk the hell out of that cash cow that has started to come up dry. Others merely speed up the beat, throw in the sign of the crossover, and in the name of the almighty record executive, call it good.

In my opinion, Beck doesn’t do that with this record. It seems that what he does is strip down the original song while saving very few components, and starts pretty much from scratch. The result is a vaguely familiar song with totally new effects that occasionally rewrite the mood. The really cool thing about his remake of Missing, called Heaven Hammer, is that the song sounds very different, but still retains the same flowing, easy mood… and that’s just all kinds of wicked.

This album is going places that his previous album, Midnight Vultures started to go… with a more produced feel that gets progressively easier to listen to. I would almost say that from the beginning, Beck has maintained an organic feel to his music… and when he feeds more electronica into the mix, the result still sounds seamlessly natural to listen to. I would even say that the things he does to the sound production produce the same organic feel that Thievery Corporation puts out, which is not an often duplicated feat.

I mean, seriously… what other artist out there does what he does, and doesn’t seem to lay a load of crap on the mixing board while doing it? As far as Guerolito is concerned, another person that I can equate to Beck, (as far as musical style) is Tom Waits. Not that Waits does the same thing to music, but that he has an ear for many very strange and sometimes abrasive components that can totally work together to make something really sick sounding. So buy the album, and put your misguided faith back in the remix.

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