The Information

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Leave it to Beck to slap a title as misleadingly matter-of-fact as The Information on what might be the most complicated album of his career. The disc, which the singer actually began work on -- then shelved -- before getting into his Guero groove, is something of a stylistic career spanner, with oddball electronic screeds rubbing shoulders with gentle acoustic explorations. The latter element provides some of The Information's most immediately moving moments notably the sweeping, piano-laced "Strange Apparition", but it's the more intricate tunes -- the ones that ask the listener to follow Beck down the rabbit hole of his choice -- that ultimately prove most ...
See more details below
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (8) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $34.14   
  • Used (7) from $1.99   

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Leave it to Beck to slap a title as misleadingly matter-of-fact as The Information on what might be the most complicated album of his career. The disc, which the singer actually began work on -- then shelved -- before getting into his Guero groove, is something of a stylistic career spanner, with oddball electronic screeds rubbing shoulders with gentle acoustic explorations. The latter element provides some of The Information's most immediately moving moments notably the sweeping, piano-laced "Strange Apparition", but it's the more intricate tunes -- the ones that ask the listener to follow Beck down the rabbit hole of his choice -- that ultimately prove most rewarding. "The Horrible/Landslide/Exoskeleton," for instance, demands and holds attention for upwards of nine minutes worth of Dada wordplay, Kraftwerk-styled drones, and doggedly disjointed rhythms. He pulls things together in more structured fashion on songs like "Think I'm in Love," a softly churning Kraut-rock ditty enhanced by impressionistic daubs of cello, and "Elevator Music," on which he reprises his role as ringmaster of the land's funkiest three-ring circus. But just when you get comfortable in any of those environments, Beck pulls the rug out from under your feet -- and does so with such an infectious sense of merriment that the dislocation becomes the best part of the ride.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Beck began work on 2006's The Information after Sea Change but before he reunited with the Dust Brothers for 2005's Guero, eventually finishing the album after Guero was generally acclaimed as a return to Odelay form. So, it shouldn't come as a great surprise that The Information falls somewhere between those two records, at least on sonic terms. Musically, it's certainly a kindred spirit to Guero, meaning that it hearkens back to the collage of loose-limbed, quirky white-boy funk-rock and rap that brought Beck fame at the peak of the alt-rock revolution, with hints of the psychedelia of Mutations and the folk-rock that was the basis for Sea Change. Since this is a Nigel Godrich production, it's meticulous and precise even when it wants to give the illusion of spontaneity, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it also pulls the album into focus, something that the generally fine Guero could have used. Guero had many strengths, but its biggest weakness was the general sense that it was unfinished, a suspicion fostered by its endless issues in deluxe editions and remixes. Beck embraced these changes, most extravagantly on the cover of Wired, where he was hailing the future of the album, which would now no longer be seen as finished: it would be a project that covered a certain amount of time, the artist would package it one way, then listeners would offer their own spin. That is precisely what Guero turned out to be, so it would have made sense that The Information would run further down that field, particularly because it has a design-your-own-art for its cover and is supplemented by a DVD filled with quick-n-dirty videos for each of its songs. But Beck isn't so easily pigeonholed: as it turns out, The Information is far more of a proper album than Guero, coming fully equipped with recurring themes and motifs, feeling every bit the concept album Sea Change was. Credit might go partially to his collaboration with Godrich -- who is nothing if not a taskmaster, helping to sharpen and focus erratic talents like Paul McCartney and Stephen Malkmus (for good in the former, not as good in the latter) -- but this also feels like the work of a refocused Beck, who shook off the cobwebs by reuniting with the Dust Brothers, thereby getting his "return to Odelay form" notices out of the way, and then getting down to the real work here on The Information, as he tackles the hyper-saturated info-world of the new millennium here. If it initially seems like surprises are in short supply on The Information -- even when the tracks take a left turn, it doesn't feel like Beck and Godrich are wandering off the map -- the craft is strong and assured, and closer listens reveal the depth of the detail within the album, whether it's in the construction of the production or how those productions illuminate Beck's themes. Ever the obscurist, Beck's meanings aren't always crystal clear, which is no doubt deliberate, but his overall intent is easier to ascertain, especially when "Cellphone's Dead" juts up against "Nausea." There's a greater sense of craft here, and while craft isn't necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Beck, it's what happens when an eccentric sticks around for over a decade: he turns pro. He's done his exploring and now he's learning how to apply what he's discovered. While this may have the inevitable side effect of making his music a little less bracing and exciting, at least on first listen -- and that's especially true when he's in his pop chameleon mode as he is here, since it often seemed like his collages were quickly thrown together instead of immaculately assembled as they are here -- it nevertheless makes for a well-constructed, intriguing, and satisfying album, which The Information assuredly is. Upon first listen, it might seem to slide by a little bit on texture and sound instead of song, but that doesn't necessarily mean it feels even as groove-oriented and hip-hop-driven as Guero (let alone Midnite Vultures), despite the fact that many of the best tracks are built on muscular, intricate rhythms, like the dense, paranoid "Nausea" or the opening fanfare of "Elevator Music." But those further listens -- something that a neo-concept album like this demands anyway -- reveal the complexity within the productions, and how Beck is bridging the two sides of his personality, finding a common ground between his folk roots and art rock sides. All those little details give each cut a dramatic flow, and as the cuts pile up, they all add up to something. Like a picture where you have to stare intently to find the hidden item buried in a seas of colored dots, it can be far too easy on The Information to look at the individual dots and not see the big picture -- but at least here the dots are interesting in and of themselves. And if you give it time, The Information eventually reveals itself as Beck's tightest, most purposeful album yet.
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
One of the best albums Beck has ever made.
Los Angeles Times - Richard Cromelin
Hip-hop is Beck's primary vehicle, a broad canvas made to channel his kaleidoscopic imagery. But the album ranges widely, with Stones/Parsons country-rock, "Odelay"-reminiscent songs, the syncopated Doors homage "Nausea," sound collages and an atmospheric lullaby.

One of the best albums Beck has ever made.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/3/2006
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • UPC: 602517067172
  • Catalog Number: 000757600

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Elevator Music (3:38)
  2. 2 Think I'm in Love (3:19)
  3. 3 Cellphone's Dead (4:45)
  4. 4 Strange Apparition (3:48)
  5. 5 Soldier Jane (3:58)
  6. 6 Nausea (2:55)
  7. 7 New Round (3:25)
  8. 8 Dark Star (3:45)
  9. 9 We Dance Alone (3:56)
  10. 10 No Complaints (3:00)
  11. 11 1000BPM (2:29)
  12. 12 Motorcade (4:15)
  13. 13 The Information (3:45)
  14. 14 Movie Theme (3:53)
  15. 15 The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton (10:36)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Bonus Material
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Beck Primary Artist
Charlie Bisharat Strings
Stevie Blacke Percussion, Violin, Cello, Background Vocals, Slide Guitar
David Campbell Conductor
Larry Corbett Strings
Joel Derouin Strings
Jason Falkner Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Drums, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Moog Bass, African Drums
James Gadson Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Armen Garabedian Strings
Greg Kurstin Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Berimbau, keyboard bass
Harvey Mason Sr. Drums
Justin Stanley Acoustic Guitar, Flute, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals
Josefina Vergara Strings
Nigel Godrich Percussion, scratching, Drums, Keyboards, Tambourine, Background Vocals, Human Whistle, Kalimba
Joey Waronker Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Suzie Katayama Strings
Alex Acuña & the Unknowns Percussion, Background Vocals
Natalie Leggett Strings
Geneviéve Gauckler Track Performer
Sean Davis Bass
Harland "Stoney" Lee Track Performer
Roberto Cani Strings
Kam Tang Track Performer
Gerardo Hilera Strings
Mat Maitland Track Performer
Michael Gillette Track Performer
Rudolph Stein Strings
Melanie Pullen Track Performer
Tereza Stanislav Strings
Aleksey Shirokov Track Performer
Juliette Cezzar Track Performer
Estelle & Simon Track Performer
Tiffani Fest Background Vocals
David Foldvari Track Performer
Jasper Goodall Track Performer
Cosimo Hansen Talking
Mercedes Helnwein Track Performer
Sage Mears Background Vocals
Parra Track Performer
Kimi Reichenberg Background Vocals
Gay Ribisi Track Performer
Elisha Skorman Background Vocals
Will Sweeney Track Performer
Adam Tullie Track Performer
Kensei Yabuno Track Performer
Vania Zouravliov Track Performer
Technical Credits
Beck Composer
David Campbell String Arrangements
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Nigel Godrich Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Justin Meldal-Johnsen Sound Consultant
Gerard Saint Art Direction
Darrell Thorp Engineer
Mat Maitland Art Direction
Rachel Shelley Contributor
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Explosive Sensations

    Beck is incredible. Dancing is mandatory.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Information

    This is a return to style for Beck. Beck Hansen is one of the most influentianl indie rockers on the planet, and the new album confirms his stay as a chart topper. "The Information" is somewhat of a follow up to his last album "Guerolito" which was a saucy mix of indie rock, pop, hip-hop and electronic flavors. Beck has pretty much help to put indie rock on the forefront and he will continue to set the bar high for the next generation to come. "The Information" is an essential Beck treasure.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Information

    This is a return to style for Beck. Jeff Beck is one of the most influential indie rockers on the planet, and this album confirms his stay as a chart topper. The album "Information" is somewhat of a follow up to his last hit album "Guerro" which is a saucy mix of indie rock, pop, electronic with a slight hip-hop flavor. Beck pretty much help to put indie rock on the forefront, and he will continue to set the bar high for the next generation to come. "Information" is an essential Beck album.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dis-Information

    A CD that captures all Beck's worst attributes. This is lazy sonic wall-paper. The spark and wit of Midnight Vultures is reduced to inaudible mumbles. The lyricism of Sea Change replaced with aimless chords. The rhythmic drive of Guero is entirely absent. Adding the DVD with videos of the songs only underlines the whole sophomoric nature of this CD.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Great Unstoppable

    Amazing,truly amazing! Beck Never stops! By far I think "The Information" was one of his best albums yet. Every track is like opening a new gift, not knowing whats inside or whats next. I dont think its possible to listen to this album and sit still. I strongly urge everyone to pick up this new album. Very original.

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

    Posted October 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews