Mutations

Mutations

4.0 4
by Beck
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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 newSee more details below

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
11/03/1998
Label:
Geffen Records
UPC:
0720642530924
catalogNumber:
25309
Rank:
64708

Tracks

Read More

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

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >