Culture chameleon Beck’s latest project, Colors, dropped Friday, October 13th
and serves as yet another 180° on the legend’s musical roadmap.
Beck finally garnered the national attention he has long deserved following his Grammy win for album of the year with 2014’s alt-folk Morning Phase.
Many musical mainstays (Kanye West included) were confused and critical of the win considering that Morning Phase beat out Beyoncé’s über-successful eponymous album that was nominated for the same category.
Colors seems like Beck’s response to his critics. It is far and away the most poppy album in his extensive catalog.
The tracks on Colors follow the standard blueprint of pop songs nowadays. Dance instrumentation pair nicely with the R and B/Rock kick and snare pattern that Beck has been partial to for most of his career and the lyrics move in a predictable chorus-verse pattern.
On the surface Colors may not seem like much, but Beck’s talent shines through every aspect of the project. The sonics are insane (he even manages to rock out on a pan flute on the title track) and the beats groove with a feel that makes them sound live-recorded.
But Beck manages to stay true to himself despite his hard veer towards pop.
The same punkish energy that has been one of the few consistencies of his career remains present throughout the vocals on Colors. But most important is the the simple fact that Colors is just plain fun to listen to. It makes you want to dance in your chair (which I did in the library when I first heard it). Beck himself said his primary reason for making Colors the way he did was that he “wanted to make something that felt good.”
Well, mission accomplished.
Beck’s dynamic return to the spotlight shows us the potential of modern pop. An album this complete would never have been made under the bland pop guidelines of the early 2000’s. It gives me a little hope for the future of pop, but Selena Gomez and Marshmello will probably do their best to destroy that.