The Central High Times
Hip hop idea takes shape in InformationThursday, November 02, 2006 By Tram Ha
The Information, Beck’s ninth album, offers a hip-hop electronic sound mixed into 15 tracks. The album package comes with an extra DVD featuring videos for the tracks, stickers for the buyer to decorate their own album cover and the CD itself. Beck and producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead’s OK Computer and Kid A, Beck’s Sea Change and Mutations), began work on this album three years ago, before Beck’s 2005 release Guero. Unlike the last two collaborations, Beck and Godrich had aspirations of this one resulting in a hip-hop record, which works in a few songs, but most of them are just electronic songs. Ever since Odelay, Beck’s sound has been pretty consistent up to Guero. The Information is kind of like a follow up to Guero. Sure, the album has four standout tracks, but between those are dull songs that can’t even be listened to all the way through. Songs like New Round and Dark Star have the melancholy, uninteresting sound like Sea Change. Beck’s voice has no energy whatsoever on most of the album. Think I’m In Love is the best track on the album because of its vitality. It’s easily the catchiest song on the album because of its beat and electronic synthesizers. This track differs from every other one because Beck sings instead of raps. Another standout track would be 1000BPM, which has an overall hip-hop sound. Rhymes such as “Now we can feel what we’re doing / We move the stratosphere in plastic / When you’re out alive, spastic / What else can the dust try to tell us?” add to the song. The wide variety of genres can be seen throughout the whole album from the first track, Elevator Music, which demonstrates funky hip-hop, to a forceful dance sound on We Dance Alone. Overall, The Information is a step up from last year’s Guero, but still lacks the solid songs to make it a concrete album.