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Song Reader

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Some things in life are certain, such as Beck's 2012 collection of sheet music eventually winding its way to record. It did roughly 19 months after its December 2012 publication, appearing in the summer of 2014 as a charity album presented by hipster eyeglass firm Warby Parker for the benefit of Dave Eggers' 826 National educational charity. This record is culled from star-studded live performances supervised by Beck and Randall Poster, who is best known as the music supervisor on Wes Anderson films, so this record hits many of the tasteful signifiers of new millennial hipsterism and, appropriately, it's immaculately curated, capturing a carefully sculpted ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Some things in life are certain, such as Beck's 2012 collection of sheet music eventually winding its way to record. It did roughly 19 months after its December 2012 publication, appearing in the summer of 2014 as a charity album presented by hipster eyeglass firm Warby Parker for the benefit of Dave Eggers' 826 National educational charity. This record is culled from star-studded live performances supervised by Beck and Randall Poster, who is best known as the music supervisor on Wes Anderson films, so this record hits many of the tasteful signifiers of new millennial hipsterism and, appropriately, it's immaculately curated, capturing a carefully sculpted neo-retro feel where everything new evokes the past. Several of the featured musicians do make it their specialty to construct an invisible bridge to the past, and these are the artists whose interpretations are the most striking on Song Reader: Jack White shambles through the blues on "I'm Down," Jarvis Cocker milks all the drama out of "Eyes That Say 'I Love You'," Jeff Tweedy gets dreamy on "The Wolf Is on the Hill," Jason Isbell tears through "Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings" like he was playing a roadhouse, Eleanor Friedberger slyly sells the carnivalesque elements of "Old Shanghai," and Norah Jones brings "Just Noise" into her own uptown cabaret wheelhouse. These are all peers of Beck, all alt-rockers raised on pop and punk sharing an affection for both, so they fit neatly where the newer acts -- ranging from relatively unknown Moses Sumney and Gabriel Kahane to new sensations fun. -- are entirely polite, succumbing to the suggestions of Poster and Beck and winding up sounding a bit too precious. The old guard provides a needed tonic to this deference, sounding vulgar and vital as they take Song Reader's inspirations seriously: David Johansen brings "Rough on Rats" to a speakeasy, Sparks' electro arrangement of "Why Did You Make Me Care?" recalls the theatricality of vaudeville, Swamp Dogg appears unaffected by all the shenanigans, Loudon Wainwright III kicks up an old-fashioned singalong with "Do We? We Do," while Marc Ribot strolls through back pages on "The Last Polka," creating perhaps the most authentic moment on this highly stylized endeavor. If the recorded Song Reader is a hodgepodge, perhaps that was inevitable: Beck wrote these songs to capture many different styles and they weren't necessarily meant to be played back to back in front of an audience -- they were meant to be learned at home and brought out into the world. Having the songs preserved on record undercuts that intention slightly but this is still an odd, delightful collection of tunes and it's nice that non-musicians -- and listeners with an aversion to homemade YouTube renditions -- get to hear these now too.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/29/2014
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 602537924813
  • Catalog Number: 002128002
  • Sales rank: 12,766

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Title of This Song - Moses Sumney (4:55)
  2. 2 Please Leave a Light On When You Go - Fun. (2:42)
  3. 3 The Wolf is On the Hill - Tweedy (2:22)
  4. 4 Just Noise - Norah Jones (2:00)
  5. 5 Last Night You Were a Dream - Mark Barry (3:22)
  6. 6 Saint Dude - Bob Forest (4:06)
  7. 7 I'm Down - Jack White (3:04)
  8. 8 Heaven's Ladder (3:18)
  9. 9 Don't Act Like Your Heart Isn't Hard - Juanes (3:27)
  10. 10 Sorry - Laura Marling (2:04)
  11. 11 Eyes That Say "I Love You" - Jarvis Cocker (3:18)
  12. 12 Rough On Rats - David Johansen (2:48)
  13. 13 Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings - Jason Isbell (5:11)
  14. 14 The Last Polka - The Last Polka (4:33)
  15. 15 Old Shanghai - Eleanor Friedberger (2:55)
  16. 16 Why Did You Make Me Care? - Sparks (4:40)
  17. 17 America, Here's My Boy - Swamp Dogg (3:05)
  18. 18 We All Wear Cloaks - Jack Black (2:30)
  19. 19 Do We? We Do - Loudon Wainwright III (2:52)
  20. 20 Mutilation Rag - yMusic (2:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Beck Primary Artist
Loudon Wainwright III Vocals
Roger Eno Piano, Background Vocals
David Johansen Vocals
Larry Goldings Piano
Marc Ribot Banjo, Guitar
Jack Black Vocals
Andy Burton Piano, Accordion, Vocals
Jarvis Cocker Synthesizer, Guitar, Vocals
David Coulter Bass, Violin, Background Vocals
Swamp Dogg Vocals
Steve Elson Baritone Saxophone
Bob Forrest Vocals
Eric Gardner Drums
Stewart Lerman Guitar
Ron Mael Keyboards
Russell Mael Vocals
David Mansfield Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin
Sammy Merendino Drums
Suzzy Roche Vocals
Jonathan Rosen Bass, Vocals
Tony Shanahan Bass, Vocals
Chaim Tannenbaum Harmonica, Vocals
Jeff Tweedy Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Doug Wieselman Clarinet
Andy York Guitar, Vocals, Lap Steel Guitar
Michael Eisenstein Electric Guitar
Fats Kaplin Mandolin
Josh Lattanzi Bass
Isaiah Owens Organ, Moog Synthesizer
Ben Blackwell Drums
Juanes Bass, Drums, Vocals
Greg Wieczorek Drums
Norah Jones Organ, Piano, Vocals
Derry Deborja Keyboards
Jack White Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Carl Broemel Pedal Steel Guitar
Jason Isbell Guitar, Vocals
Carl Restivo Electric Guitar
Benji Lysaght Guitar
Nate Walcott Piano, Electric Piano
Jason Buckle Percussion
Eleanor Friedberger Vocals
Chad Gamble Drums
Kaveh Rastegar Upright Bass
Rob Moose Guitar
Clarice Jensen Cello
Sadler Vaden Guitar
Charlene Huang Violin
C.J. Camerieri Trumpet
Alex Sopp Flute
Brooke Waggoner Piano
Gus Seyffert Bass
Lillie Mae Rische Background Vocals
Nadia Sirota Viola
Cory Younts Harmonica
Hideaki Aomori Clarinet
Dominic Davis Bass
Gabriel Kahane Piano, Vocals
Levon Henry Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
David Gibbs Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Background Vocals
Amanda Shires Fiddle, Vocals
April Guthrie Cello
Jake Blanton Keyboards
Beck Hansen Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals
Josh Adams Drums
Kevin Hastings Keyboards
Brad Jones Bass
Jimbo Hart Bass
Spencer Tweedy Drums
Jason Abraham Roberts Guitar
Johnny Dyas Piano
Noah Hecht Percussion, Drums
Michael Rosen Organ, Piano, Mellotron
Malcolm Perkins Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Joe Henry Producer
Rick Parker Engineer
Beck Producer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Jarvis Cocker Arranger, Producer
George Drakoulias Producer
Stewart Lerman Producer, Engineer
Ron Mael Arranger, Producer, Orchestration
Russell Mael Arranger, Producer
Steven McDonald Vocal Engineer
Randall Poster Producer
Tom Schick Engineer
Lawrence Azerrad Graphic Design
Ryan Freeland Engineer
Ryan Williams Engineer
Leanne Shapton Artwork
Vance Powell Engineer
Juanes Programming, Producer
Dave Poler Engineer
Marcel Dzama Artwork
John Spiker Programming, Producer, Engineer
Fonseca Programming, Producer
Andrew Dost String Arrangements
Dave Cobb Producer, Engineer
David Greenbaum Engineer
Laura Marling Producer
James Frazee Engineer
Albert DiFiore Engineer
Jack White III Producer
Gus Seyffert Producer, Engineer
Fun. Producer
Gabriel Kahane Arranger, Instrumentation
Joshua V. Smith Engineer
Matt Marinelli Engineer
Beck Hansen Composer, Liner Notes
Hugo Nicolson Engineer
Cole Marsden Engineer
Josh Cochran Artwork
Ben Schneider Engineer
Grief Neill Engineer
Jessica Hische Cover Art
Moses Sumney Producer
Andrew Mazorol Artwork
Alonzo Felix Artwork
Le Takaes Artwork
Kyle Pellet Artwork
Kelsey Dake Artwork
Joshua Willing Halpern Producer
Jing Wei Artwork
Ian Huebert Artwork
David Zwirner Artwork
Tynan Kerr Artwork
Tim Lane Artwork
Sergio Membrillas Artwork
Scott Teplin Artwork
Pete Gamlen Artwork
Loren Purcell Artwork
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