Modern Guilt

Studio Album by released in 2008
Modern Guilt's tracklist:
Orphans
Gamma Ray
Chemtrails
Modern Guilt
Youthless
Walls
Replica
Soul of a Man
Profanity Prayers
Volcano

Modern Guilt review

Where does Beck go?

Public recognition is a pretty weird thing. On the one hand it is demanded by any armature performer. As a matter of fact this is simply one of the basic engines that make artist move forward. Besides, recognition not only satisfies performer’s ambitions but it also brings money that will let him to keep making music. The paradox, however, is that when a wide recognition is achieved it stops stimulating the artistic process. Recognition turns into everyday routine and therefore forces the artist to turn back to his own ideas again and again. At first glance this theory has nothing to do with such a prolific musician as Beck who is actually known for making unpredictable and surprising records. Of course, he doesn’t switch from one genre to another every time but each of his seven albums has its own recognizable character. However, even though Beck has walked a really diverse artistic path his well-worked-out approach to astonish his listeners has finally led him to exhaustion. At least judging by his recent albums it seems like Beck started reinventing his own ideas representing them in a less interesting way at that. He was really influential figure in the world of alternative rock during 90’s but each of his latest albums was pushing him from Influential status towards something ordinary. Of course, nobody is going to take his titles away from him; he is still a weighty figure for many people but the only way to avoid this slow withering is a really strong record.

Modern Guilt sounds tuneful and mysterious

Beck’s new album is called Modern Guilt. Following his old tradition he decided to dwell upon style experimenting again. Just like all the rest of Beck’s albums Modern Guilt is really hard to categorize. This time he decided to work with such a popular and omnipresent producer as Danger Mouse, which of course produced a specific impact on the overall sound. For the most part, all the tracks are spotted with synthesized sounds of different kinds and live drums often interweave with artificial beat. But still this is not the main peculiarity of this album. The thing is that in comparison with Beck’s previous albums Modern Guilt sounds more tuneful and even mysterious. The album is more melodic indeed, it becomes obvious from the very first track Orphans. Beck is not trying to rap anymore; quite on the contrary, his new material is entirely based on songwriting approach. The tracks sound quite positive and life-asserting, Gamma Ray may be serve as a good evidence for that. Sometimes you can come across some psychedelic themes and moods; you can give a try to Chemtrails or Volcano for instance. In a word the album is almost deprived of former depressiveness. It doesn’t mean of course that it is colored in festive tints but still it produces a fully optimistic impression. It would more correct to say that there is a competent balance between beautiful melodies and industrially driven garage band sound.

Indisputable musical value

Overall, Modern Guilt may suite to a pretty wide audience, starting from Beck’s die-hard fans to all the indie kids who are ready to apprehend something bigger than let’s say Pigeon Detectives. It is something you are about to love rather than not. The thing is that this material stands at the very crest of modern tendencies of indie scene, even despite that fact that it has a notable amount of some vintage traits. Beck writes really strong songs that are filled with some sort of indisputable musical value, which some young indie bands unfortunately lack. It is hard to say how significant this album may be for Beck’s career but it is definitely a strong reminder of why he became a leader of Alternative rock movement.

Max Rodrigues (11.07.2008)
Rate review3.79
Total votes - 24


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