Beck Odelay - Deluxe Edition Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

If you think you knew him before, just wait 'til you meet him all over again...

Susie Goldring 2008

Braying donkeys, human screeches, hand claps…. Yep, the enchanting wizard of rhythm is back. And this time, 12 years after its first release, he's bringing the Grammy nominated Dust Brothers production, Odelay, with a whole disc-load of extras...

Let's assume that most readers will, by now, know of Odelay - filled, as it is, with folky hip hop classics such as Where It's At, Devil's Haricut and New Pollution and all their handclapping, random noise and fuzzed-up screams. The album can still take your breathe away. The songs wake you, shake you and then lull you into a false sense of security and familiarity. But this Odelay, is both new and old - coming with an album of B-side remixes and additional tracks. So let's look at those...

Bek David Campbell has never been an easy man to pin down. The Da Vinci of the music world uses samples, percussion, and sound effects all over the place. On the whole this extra disc of goodies is superb, though the feeling that he has come to jungle a decade too late and met Akon in the process can't be overlooked on the frankly bizarre remix of Devil's Haircut that is Richards' Hairpiece.

What IS outstanding on this second platter of remixes is the 12-minute U.N.K.L.E version of Where It's At. Its wealth of imagination is not to be missed. Feather In Your Cap's lyricism has you straining to hear every breath, every guitar reverb and every drawled word, whilst Strange Invitation emphasises the strings and then lives all over again in a Mexican version, which goes beyond mere gimmickry.

Folk, rock (Thunder Peel), garage (Lemonade), blues (Devil Got My Woman/Trouble All My Days) art rock (Electric Music and The Summer People), electro, hip hop, trip hop ...it's all there. And yet, Beck's work never feels like mimicry, is always idosyncratic. Like all the great remixers, from Shakespeare to Braque, he takes from here and creates something new, just there.

Beck was, is and always will be the cowboy king of found art rock. If you think you knew him before, just wait 'til you meet him all over again...

Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you choose to use this review on your site please link back to this page.