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Mutations

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Martin Johnson
After nearly reinventing rock for a post hip-hop world -- and rescuing postmodernity from the cliché scrap heap in the process -- Beck Hansen opts to play it straight on his 1998 release, MUTATIONS. Alarmingly straightforward in comparison to the cut-and-paste samplefests found on ODELAY and MELLOW GOLD, the new recording is nonetheless full of affecting songs and meticulous details. "Nobody's Fault but Mine" is vaguely psychedelic and "Tropicalia" is a tribute to Brazilian musical rebels like Caetano Veloso and Jorge Ben, while "Static" rides sadly and beautifully on a pinging rhythm guitar line. And lest the recording be read as a departure, MUTATIONS closes with ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Martin Johnson
After nearly reinventing rock for a post hip-hop world -- and rescuing postmodernity from the cliché scrap heap in the process -- Beck Hansen opts to play it straight on his 1998 release, MUTATIONS. Alarmingly straightforward in comparison to the cut-and-paste samplefests found on ODELAY and MELLOW GOLD, the new recording is nonetheless full of affecting songs and meticulous details. "Nobody's Fault but Mine" is vaguely psychedelic and "Tropicalia" is a tribute to Brazilian musical rebels like Caetano Veloso and Jorge Ben, while "Static" rides sadly and beautifully on a pinging rhythm guitar line. And lest the recording be read as a departure, MUTATIONS closes with the unlisted "Diamond Bollocks," which zigzags from screeching rock to gentle folk with feedback, samples, and strange fades. Yep -- meet the new Beck, same as the old Beck. And only a fool wouldn't be drawn to the music.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
According to party line, neither Beck nor Geffen ever intended Mutations to be considered as the official follow-up to Odelay, his Grammy-winning breakthrough. It was more like One Foot in the Grave, designed to be an off-kilter, subdued collection of acoustic-based songs pitched halfway between psychedelic country blues and lo-fi folk. The presence of producer Nigel Godrich, the man who helmed Radiohead's acclaimed OK Computer, makes such claims dubious. Godrich is not a slick producer, but he's no Calvin Johnson, either, and Mutations has an appropriately clean, trippy feel. There's little question that with the blues, country, psych, bossa nova, and folk that comprise it, Mutations was never meant to be a commercial endeavor -- there's no floor-shaker like "Where It's At," and it doesn't trade in the junk culture that brought Odelay to life. Recording with his touring band -- marking the first time he has entered the studio with a live band -- does result in a different sound, but it's not so much a departure as it is a side road that is going in the same direction. None of the songs explore new territory, but they're rich, lyrically and musically. There's an off-the-cuff wit to the songwriting, especially on "Canceled Check" and "Bottle of Blues," and the performances are natural, relaxed, and laid-back, without ever sounding complacent. In fact, one of the nifty tricks of Mutations is how it sounds simple upon the first listen, then reveals more psychedelic layers upon each play. Beck is not only a startling songwriter -- his best songs are simultaneously modern and timeless -- he is a sharp record-maker, crafting albums that sound distinct and original, no matter how much they may borrow. In its own quiet, organic way, Mutations confirms this as much as either Mellow Gold or Odelay.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/3/1998
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • UPC: 720642530924
  • Catalog Number: 25309
  • Sales rank: 52,133

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Cold Brains (3:41)
  2. 2 Nobody's Fault But My Own (5:02)
  3. 3 Lazy Flies (3:43)
  4. 4 Canceled Check (3:14)
  5. 5 We Live Again (3:04)
  6. 6 Tropicalia (3:20)
  7. 7 Dead Melodies (2:35)
  8. 8 Bottle of Blues (4:55)
  9. 9 O Maria (4:00)
  10. 10 Sing It Again (4:19)
  11. 11 Static (11:19)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Beck Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Glockenspiel, Vocals
Elliot Caine Trumpet
David Campbell Conductor, Viola
Larry Corbett Cello
Warren Klein Sitar, Tamboura
David Ralicke Flute, Trombone
Smokey Hormel Guitar, Percussion, Background Vocals, Quica
Joey Waronker Percussion, Drums, Synthesizer Drums
Justin Meldal-Johnsen Bass, Percussion, Background Vocals
Roger Manning Synthesizer, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Beck Producer
David Campbell Arranger
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Nigel Godrich Producer
Robert Fisher Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sublime Joozhoodle

    Beck's slurred delivery of goofy meloncholy is like a big white cartoon eyeball winking at you out of a dark pit of swirling purple vapor, while periodically, slighty incongruous and out-of-context rubber toys and other various objects come flying out of the same comically sinister vortex as if they were being propped up by a mysterious force and then lazily but forcefully punted by Beck's shuffling feet. Very enjoyable and accessible. Perhaps a little short-lived.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Euphoria in a square cd case

    Of all the god-like beck cds, this one is not by far the best. This cd is very good, I have all 8 beck cds and stray blues, and i would rate this one the best, although not as eclectic as stereopathetic soulmanure, Mutations is the most mellow funky sounding cd that beck has out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    listen all the way through

    This is a very mellow, country-influenced album which you can listen to in its entirety without wanting to skip tracks. Strong sing-along factor, especially the second time around.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews