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Beck Hansen is a great musician. With the MTV anthem 'Loser' he set the tone for a career which has included everything from movie soundtracks to working with Serge Gainsbourg's daughter Charlotte on her forthcoming album.
This album was the first to bring him to public attention following that song and showed him to be a curator of many musical styles, with his wispy beach boy folk vocals to his use of Dust Brother beats and electronica, his music proved a mixed up soundtrack to a mixed up generation.
The album begins with one of the highlights, the beats laden Devils Haircut which has Beck singing through a loud haler or something similar whilst amazing beats bounce around him, this is an awesome song and one of the best on the album for me, it settles down with two reasonable songs in Hotwax and Lord Only Knows and then kicks into the New Pollution with throbbing guitars and a real attitude.
It continues to float along through, Derelict, Novocaine and Jack-Ass until we reach Where its at, a funky, riff laden song with a catchy shouted chorus, this sums up the album for me, it sounds like it was made up on the spot in a garage but has clearly been meticulously produced.
The album doesn't live up to these early songs but overall its a well thought out, eclectic album filled with eccentricities and good use of samples. Beck sounds mixed up but strangely cool, while his songs are the right side of eccentric.
This album sold two million copies and pushed Beck further into the public consciousness especially with the cool video for the New Pollution and Devils Haircut, overall i'll give this album 4 out of 5 as it has about 5 standout tracks and the others are simply good. Its a funky, pants down march through the seedier side of LA and a great example of the talents of this musical troubadour.
The album can be bought on Amazon for £4.98.
If you like Beck, you can't get much better than this album. This is Beck at his most talented, yet he retains all that unusual, subversive charm which flows through everything he does. Where It's At, Novocane and Devil's Haircut are highlights for me, but every song on this album stands up to close scrutiny. Odelay is eclectic, diverse, compelling, and indicative of an outstanding talent. This was the album of the year for me back in 1996, and I still like it. Well recommended.
For me, this is Beck's finest hour. There's always been more to like about Beck than just the music, and central to his appeal is his sense of humour, reflected in lyrical content, ability to parody and general oddness. Odelay is chock full of this essential Beck attitude/style/aceness but, as bonus, the music's all brilliant too. You've quite possibly heard some of the singles from Odelay - the snippets of genius that are Devil's Haircut, The New Pollution and Where It's At, and the not-so-good Sissyneck. There is little to dislike about the remaining 10 tracks, with stunners like Hotwax and Novacane impressing as much as - if not more than - the singles themselves. Beck came first in Q's most important people in the world feature a couple of years ago; that's possibly going a bit far, but the decision was made when Odelay was his most recent album. It seems that Q thinks eveyone should like Beck, and I definitely think that anyone who likes Beck needs to own Odelay. It's one of those CDs that always gets put in promotional offers, so there really is no excuse not to buy it (obviously ignore that last statement if you don't like Beck).
woohaa,i can still remember how much i used to listen to this cd. Out of the albums beck has made, ive heard them all and i own two of em. this is the best (in my opinion) cd out of them. Beck as an artist has an increadable style somewhere between rock/pop/country its a brilliant concept in music. The whole cd is quite light hearted which i really appreciate. I would recomend this to anyone even though its pretty old now its still the best hes made.
Well, how do you start to describe this album, I mean it is such a fusion of styles it is difficult to say where one stops and another starts. My best guess would be 70’s funk meets country music with a nineties sensibility. Beck’s vocal delivery here is almost deadpan, but that is not surprising as the whole record seems almost tongue in cheek. It is difficult to point out any single thing about the album, but it is very compelling, he is almost daring the listen to see what he’ll do next. It is that type of a record. It benefits from this approach, as he doesn’t seem to have any inhibitions about what to try! It starts off with one of the two standout tracks, “Devil’s Haircut”. It starts off with a funky riff, and a driving beat that really gets you going. I think it is that drumbeat that really makes this song, the chorus is propelled along by it, making the deadpan delivery a sing a long hit at once! The other really standout song is “New Pollution” it has a similar feel but a slightly more pronounced beat here and a slightly less sing a long feel. The kind of song that you here far off in the distance and absolutely love. A splash of sax really completes this brilliant song. An album here with something for everyone
Beck has a sound which is different to most other artists. On his album Odelay there is also such a great variety of tunes from the big hits Devils Haircut and Novacaine for the soul to the much more jumpy Where its at. The sound of this album probably will not be liked by everyone but if you have heard either of the big hits and liked them then it is for you. Virtually all of the songs on this album are well worth listening to in their own right aswell as the others songs that have been released since.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Devils Haircut
3 Lord Only Knows
4 The New Pollution
8 Where It's At
12 High 5 (Rock The Catskills)