Beck's a Bit Gloomy in New CD

Modern Guilt is a far cry from the artist's early days
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2008 5:57 PM CDT
In this image released by DGC Records, the latest CD from Beck, "Modern Guilt," is shown.    (AP Photo/DGC Records)
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(Newser) – Beck’s new 34-minute-long record is a “simmering cauldron of postmillennial tension,” writes Leah Greenblatt in Entertainment Weekly, its paranoid lyrics “way past Bummerville” and nearing “Apocalypse Heights.” But producer Danger Mouse still manages to find “thoughtfulness and texture…if not exactly levity” that temper Modern Guilt's drama. J. Freedom du Lac concurs in the Post, concluding that Beck's "funny bone remains broken.”

He sings of a world “swallowed by evil,” in which “warheads are stacked in the kitchen”—the result being an album that du Lac nominates for “feel-bad album of the summer.” Paradoxically, the music remains “a sunny soundscape,” making at least for an interesting listen. Rashod D. Ollison is less sure the overall effect works, writing in the Baltimore Sun that Guilt “doesn’t burrow as deeply as the title suggests.”