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Odelay

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Beck 8/10/2004

Review

Unlike Stereopathetic Soul Manure and One Foot in the Grave, the indie albums that followed his debut Mellow Gold by a mere matter of months, Odelay was a full-fledged, full-bodied album, released on a major label in the summer of 1996 and bearing an intricate, meticulous production by the Dust Brothers in their first gig since the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique. Odelay shared a similar collage structure to that 1989 masterpiece, relying on a blend of found sounds and samples, but instead of lending the album its primary colors, the Dust Brothers provided the accents, highlighting Beck's ever-changing sounds, tying together his stylistic shifts, making the leaps from the dirge-blues of "Jack-Ass" to the hazy party rock of "Where's It's At" seem not so great. Like Mellow Gold, Odelay winds up touching on a number of disparate strands -- folk and country, grungy garage rock, stiff-boned electro, louche exotica, old-school rap, touches of noise rock -- but there's no break-neck snap between sensibilities, everything flows smoothly, the dense sounds suggesting that the songs are a bit more complicated than they actually are. Most of the songs here betray Beck's roots as an anti-folk singer -- he reworks blues structures ("Devil's Haircut"), country ("Lord Only Knows," "Sissyneck"), soul ("Hotwax"), folk ("Ramshackle") and rap ("High 5 [Rock the Catskills]," "Where It's At") -- but each track twists conventions, either in their construction or presentation, giving this a vibrant, electric pulse, surprising in its form and attack. Like a mosaic, all the details add up to a picture greater than its parts, so while some of Beck's best songs are here, Odelay is best appreciated as a recorded whole, with each layered sample enhancing the allusion that came before. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Devils Haircut Beck 3:13
  3. 1 No Name Beck null:null
  4. 2 Hotwax Beck 3:47
  5. 3 Lord Only Knows Beck 4:12
  6. 4 The New Pollution Beck 3:38
  7. 5 Derelict Beck 4:11
  8. 6 Novacane Beck 4:35
  9. 7 Jack-Ass Beck 4:0
  10. 8 Intro To Where It's At Beck 0:10
  11. 9 Where It's At Beck 5:28
  12. 10 Minus Beck 2:31
  13. 11 Sissyneck Beck 3:53
  14. 12 Readymade Beck 2:37
  15. 13 High 5 (Rock The Catskills) Beck 4:9
  16. 14 Ramshackle Beck 4:45
  17. 15 Computer Rock Beck 0:43
  18. 1 No Name Beck null:null
  19. 1 No Name Beck null:null
  20. 1 No Name Beck null:null

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