For those of you patiently waiting for the new Beck record (out in March), here’s something to keep you busy: an exclusive look at the 8-bit collective remix video of “Hell Yes.” :
Also, here’s the latest on the upcoming release and the premature MP3’s many have downloaded:
It’s arriving a little later than expected, but after a few delays in song selection, Beck now plans to release his new album, Guero, on March 29or possibly sooner, to minimize the damage of an Internet leak.Initially due in October 2004 the follow-up to 2002’s Sea Change forgoes the melancholy of his last breakup record and finds the Los Angeles native in an upbeat mood with a carefree, stripped-down approach. An unmastered and unfinished version of the record, erroneously titled Ubiquitous, has been floating around online for a few days now.
Produced by Odelay and Midnite Vultures collaborators the Dust Brothers, Guero (Mexican slang for a blond-haired, fair-skinned Caucasian) features 13 tracks that loosely act like a Beck mixtape ‚Äî evoking the beat-driven material on Odelay, the acoustic tracks of 1998’s Mutations and even the bluesy junk-shop textures of 1994’s Mellow Gold.
While a definite creative and spiritual link to his ’90s records is apparent, the major distinction is in the relaxed manner and noticeable maturity. Guero is Odelay minus the over-caffeinated Moogs and ping-ponging video game bedlam of albums past.
The album kicks off with “E-Pro,” the album’s first single, which features a beat seemingly jacked from a classic Beastie Boys record with a simple, heavy rock riff and marks a return to the Dadaist rhyming absent on the somber Sea Change.
“Girls” also has radio-playability written all over it. A funky up-tempo jam, the sun-drenched track features “oohs” and “aahs,” breezy acoustic guitars and Beck’s lithe falsetto. “Hell Yes” features more rhyming and a minimal electro groove, robotic voices and females cooing, “Please enjoy,” while Beck maintains, “My beat is correct.”
“Que Onda Guero” (“What up, whitey?”) is a dead-ringer for vintage Cypress Hill in an East-L.A. barrio with its requisite Spanglish and low-rider beats.
The latter half of the record becomes moodier and psychedelic with songs like the sad, celestial ballad “Broken Drum,” the down-tempo “Earthquake Weather,” the dusty “Farewell Ride” and the almost trip-hop vibe of “Emergency Exit.” The White Stripes’ Jack White plays bass on the shuffling and sparse “Go It Alone.”
A concept video for “E-Pro” has been shot, and an experimental pixilated video for “Black Tambourine,” featuring a connect-the-dots dancing Beck, has also been made, but it’s undetermined what that video will be used for.
Tracks recorded that didn’t make the final cut, possibly destined to be B-sides, include the distortion-heavy “Novacane”-esque “Chain Reaction,” “Gospel” and an unnamed track that sports a riff reminiscent of “Devil’s Haircut,” only funkier.
Guero track list, according to Beck’s publicist:
“Que Onda Guero”
“Go It Alone”