Beck's Next Album: You Play the Songs, Not Him

Album will be released as sheet music only
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2012 1:30 PM CDT
Beck's Next Album: You Play the Songs, Not Him
Beck performs during the St. Gallen Openair Festival near St. Gallen, Switzerland, in 2008.   (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Ennio Leanza)

If you want to hear Beck's new album, you better learn how to play a musical instrument. He'll be releasing Beck Hansen's Song Reader in December not as a CD, vinyl record, or digital files, but as … sheet music. "The Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012," reads the announcement on Beck's website. "An alternative that enlists the listener in the tone of every track"—and for which "bringing [the songs] to life depends on you."

McSweeney's will publish the 20-song, 108-page album, which will include the song booklets, carrying case, art, and a foreword by Beck, Rolling Stone reports. The publishing house will also post versions of the songs as performed by both musicians and readers on its website. Will Beck be among those performers? Who knows. (More Beck stories.)

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