My early take on the new Beck album, Guero: It's good. So far my favorite track is "Earthquake Weather," which has a lithe and groovy chorus not unlike Milton Nascimento, except that Nascimento?s falsetto is all ethereal and shit and Beck?s is all goofy and stuff. Beck seems to have recovered from his breakup (snooze!) and is back with producers the Dust Brothers. "Earthquake" features clavinet (Wailers more than Stevie Wonder), scratching, acoustic guitar, fuzz guitar, large-rumped bass, electric piano, lots of atmospheric junk. Also it features three of Beck's singing voices (low and "sexy," mid-range and sincere, girly). Nearly ten years after Odelay, something about this guy?s pastiche still suggests a new model for rock dudes, even if, according to most or all of the evidence, the Beck model isn?t terribly useful to anyone who isn?t Beck. For a full take on Guero, see Julianne Shepherd's review in next week's City Pages.

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