It's a feisty and fun jaunt
Jerome Blakeney 2009-01-05
By 1999 Beck Hansen had established himself as the king of cut 'n' paste hip-pop. His eclectic sampleology, mixed with a canny ear for a folk lope had made both Mellow Gold and Odelay into massive testaments to slacker culture and were the apotheosis of post-modernism in popular music. With a mild diversion into tropicalia and blues with Mutations he'd briefly wrong-footed his fans and proven that he was an extremely versatile little Scientologist. But with Midnite Vultures he was to turn into ...well, Prince.
All those years spent in the lo-fi bedroom were now discarded as Beck went out on the town and celebrated sexuality, albeit in his own collage-based way. Yes, Midnite Vultures is Beck's sex album. The lyrics remain as delightfully obtuse (has anyone ever worn a ''hepatitus contact lense''?), yet it also proved that the mutant funk evident on the best cuts of Odelay were no accident. Numbers like Nicotine And Gravy or Sexx Laws showed the boy to be as danceable as hell. While the final cut: the marathon lovefest, Debra showed him taking a stab at Al Green or James Brown territory.
It's a feisty and fun jaunt through the imagination of an imp just as perverse as the Purple One.