The Information [Deluxe Edition]

The Information [Deluxe Edition]

by Beck
3.0 2

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The Information [Deluxe Edition]

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. [The 2007 Deluxe Edition includes bonus tracks.]

Product Details

Release Date: 02/27/2007
Label: Interscope Records
UPC: 0602517203556
catalogNumber: 000834100


Disc 1

  1. Elevator Music
  2. Think I'm in Love
  3. Cellphones's Dead
  4. Strange Apparation
  5. Soldier Jane
  6. Nausea
  7. Dark Star
  8. Movie Theme
  9. We Dance Alone
  10. No Complaints
  11. 1000 BPM
  12. Motorcade
  13. The Information
  14. New Round
  15. The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton
  16. Inside Out
  17. This Girl That I Know
  18. O Menina

Disc 2

  1. Cellphone's Dead
  2. Nausea
  3. Dark Star
  4. Nausea
  5. Cellphone's Dead
  6. Cellphone's Dead

Disc 3

  1. Elevator Music
  2. Think I'm in Love
  3. Cellphone's Dead
  4. Strange Apparation
  5. Soldier Jane
  6. Nausea
  7. Dark Star
  8. Movie Theme
  9. We Dance Alone
  10. No Complaints
  11. 1000 BPM
  12. Motorcade
  13. The Information
  14. New Round
  15. The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton
  16. Inside Out
  17. This Girl That I Know
  18. Cellphone's Dead
  19. Nausea

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
James Gadson   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Armen Garabedian   Strings
Greg Kurstin   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Berimbau,keyboard bass
Harvey Mason   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
Smokey Hormel   Sounds
Joey Waronker   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Suzie Katayama   Strings
Alex Acuña & the Unknowns   Percussion,Background Vocals
Natalie Leggett   Strings
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Sounds
Rudy Stein   Strings
Sean Davis   Bass
Roger Manning   Sounds
Roberto Cani   Strings
Gerardo Hilera   Strings
Tereza Stanislav   Strings
Tiffani Fest   Vocals
Cosimo Hansen   Talking
Sage Mears   Vocals
Kimi Reichenberg   Vocals
Elisha Skorman   Vocals
Lucia Ribisi   Voices
Ja Ruler   Guitar

Technical Credits

Beck   Composer
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Nigel Godrich   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Geneviéve Gauckler   Artwork
Gerard Saint   Art Direction
Renaud Letang   Engineer
Harland "Stoney" Lee   Artwork
Darrell Thorp   Engineer
Ricardo Villalobos   Remixing
Michel Gondry   Director
Kam Tang   Artwork
Ellen Allien   Remixing
David Andrew Sitek   Remixing
Mat Maitland   Artwork,Art Direction
Michael Gillette   Artwork
Melanie Pullen   Artwork
Aleksey Shirokov   Artwork
Juliette Cezzar   Artwork
Jasper Goodall   Artwork
Mercedes Helnwein   Artwork
Gay Ribisi   Artwork
Rachel Shelley   Contributor
Will Sweeney   Artwork
Adam Tullie   Artwork
Kensei Yabuno   Artwork
Vania Zouravliov   Artwork
David Foldivari   Artwork
Invisibl   Producer

Customer Reviews

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The Information 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
DavidWhite More than 1 year ago
not as good as Guero, in my opinion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beck is incredible. Dancing is mandatory.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago