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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 194 - 07/03/12

Beck
I Just Started Hating Some People Today
Third Man Records

...and it's back to seven inch. The Third Man label put out the first new material from Beck since his 2008 album, Modern Guilt. After doing production work for alt rock champs and veterans, Thurston Moore and Stephen Malkmus, he seems to be (as far as rumours go) back on track for a new album.

Asking me, Modern Guilt (2008) was a step up again for Beck. Well, The Information was OK, sort of, but the ltd. ed. (very nice, but indeed very expensive!) luxury vinyl box wrapping overshadowed the album's musical content. Now, four years later I'm ready for some more high quality (dare I say HD...) Beck. This single sees Beck sparring with his old buddy, Jack White III (yep, Mr White Stripes), as he's being the producer (as well as the drummer!) here.

"I Just Started Hating Some People Today" is a schizophrenic country song. And, with country I mean big cowboy hat, fiddle, twang and all. What keeps the song a bit off the regular C&W trail, is the sort of trademark Beck drums groove / rhythm pattern. By schizoid I mean the songs three totally different themes, like a three-into-one track. It starts as the country tune - tongue-in-cheek, I guess. Midway through comes a short and hectic punk explosion (with Jack White doing 'punk vocals'), before the song ebbs with a loose groove, porn-funk, jazz-styled fashion (with jazz vocals by Jack White's ex-wife, Karen Elson). It's a rather odd piece, but also a typical Beck song in many ways. I'm not sure if this is proof for his new direction, or of the style of new material for an up-coming album. It feels more like a heel-kick, funny thing to do on a day off. Or, maybe it's dreaming back to old days, when he could do One Foot In The Grave-kind of stuff. The b-side, "Blue Randy", is more of a serious song, with Beck showing his crooning skills, backed with pedal steel groove. Think Tindersticks/Stuart Staples, or something like that.

Well, I'm still looking forward to a new Beck album with a certain excitement, but after hearing this single I'm not sure what to expect.

Copyright © 2012 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Beck articles/reviews: Defriended, Dreams, GUAU! (Wow M.I.S. remix), Gimme, Guero, I Won't Be Long, Los Angeles Song Reader Show, Morning Phase, Odelay, Sea Change, Wow.

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