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noisereductions 05.20.2017 10:49 AM

 


I think you guys know I'm a huge Beck fan. Have been since I was like 13 yrs old. But guess what? I never thought Odelay was great. When it came out I was like "yeah. It's ok. But it's no Mellow Gold. Or One Foot In The Grave. Or Stereopathetic Soulmanure." And guess what? I still feel the same way. "Everyone" seems to consider this his best. To me... I don't know. It's a Dust Bros album w/ Beck singing. My favorite songs are the ones that could fit on another album. Like "Jackass" or "Minus" or "Ramshackle." Don't get me wrong. There's plenty here I like. Just not enough I love. Like "Novacane" is pretty great... but then there's this extra shit at the end that just could've been cut off. "Where It's At" goes on forever on the album. And "Derelict" is fucking unlistenable. And that's the second song. Okay, now that I've said all that - I do love Beck. So I'm maybe a harsher critic than I should be. And I'd probably rank this really high if he didn't put out 3 albums in a row before (and one right after) that all blow this out of the water. Even much of the b-sides from this era tended to be ones I preferred over most of the album tracks.

Severian 05.20.2017 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
 


I think you guys know I'm a huge Beck fan. Have been since I was like 13 yrs old. But guess what? I never thought Odelay was great. When it came out I was like "yeah. It's ok. But it's no Mellow Gold. Or One Foot In The Grave. Or Stereopathetic Soulmanure." And guess what? I still feel the same way. "Everyone" seems to consider this his best. To me... I don't know. It's a Dust Bros album w/ Beck singing. My favorite songs are the ones that could fit on another album. Like "Jackass" or "Minus" or "Ramshackle." Don't get me wrong. There's plenty here I like. Just not enough I love. Like "Novacane" is pretty great... but then there's this extra shit at the end that just could've been cut off. "Where It's At" goes on forever on the album. And "Derelict" is fucking unlistenable. And that's the second song. Okay, now that I've said all that - I do love Beck. So I'm maybe a harsher critic than I should be. And I'd probably rank this really high if he didn't put out 3 albums in a row before (and one right after) that all blow this out of the water. Even much of the b-sides from this era tended to be ones I preferred over most of the album tracks.


Dude-yo, the second song is "Hotwax" and it's fucking rad. "Derelict" is not unlistenable weirdo! It's got a such a funky but sloooow hip-hop-Donovan chorus. Even when I was in ninth grade, it was able to recognize the catchiness of "Derelict." It's not one of the album's best songs, but it's not unlistenable. It sounds like a Beatles track actually, with a little bit of electro thrown in.

Also, three albums? Are you forgetting Golden Feelings and A Western Harvest Field by Moonlight?

Anyway, to be a Beck fan and to not like Odelay (much) is very strange indeed. It's like being a Lips fan and not being into The Soft Bulletin, or perhaps more analogously, to be an Ok Computer-apathetic Radiohead fan. I share your love for Beck's early work, for sure, but Odelay is where he really blossomed. It's the rare instance of an artist actually improving musically as his fame increases. In all honesty, I don't think anything else in Beck's discography — not even the strong Mutations or Midnite Vultures can compare to this album.

Odelay has stood the test of time for me like very few '90s albums have. I can still put it on and be totally enthralled from start to finish. The first three are tracks so good it's stupid. "Devil's Haircut" somehow still rocks, "Hotwax" is convincing nerd rap, and "Lord Only Knows" is just an all around great song. Then later there's the Minor Threat-worshiping "Minus," and the weird-as-fuck "High 5."

"Where it's At" is better than "Loser." Yeah, it goes off the rails a bit, but to me it fits in perfectly with the kind of stuff Sonic Youth was doing on EJST&NS. It's admirable for such a weird ass song to get so much airplay. I love it. "Loser" was almost a one-hit-wonder situation for Beck. "Where it's At" took the approach and sent it through a blender and it weirded people out but "two turntables and a microphone" became a meme 20 years before "memes" were even a thing!

"Sissyneck" is super underrated. "Jack-Ass" sounds like hillbilly Christmas. "Novocane" is like "High 5" only pulling from SY and a bit from Black Flag instead of Minor Threat.

There's something unspeakably weird about the fact that you don't love this album. Not trying to be a dick, just throwing it out there... this is the best Beck ever was or ever will be, and just about all of his work, especially that of the '00s and 2010s, is just a pale imitation of this seminal record.

I'm starting to wonder if there's anything at all you and I agree about with respect to waxing nostalgic over '90s alternative music. ;)

noisereductions 05.22.2017 08:05 AM

I think of our tastes like a Venn Diagram. They overlap, but are stretched in opposite directions.

I may have come across harsher than need be. So let me say this: Out of 5 stars, I'd still give Odelay a 4. But, yes I totally think that the 3 albums I mentioned are better. Or rather than "better" maybe I should say "preferred by me." I reach for those 3 (and Mutations) way more often than Odelay.

I didn't forget Golden Feelings or Western Harvest. I just don't put those 2 on the same level as the 3 I mentioned. I still own the CD copy of Golden Feelings that Sonic Enemy pressed on CD in 1999 and Beck immediately put a C&D on. It's actually one of my most prized CD's. Western Harvest sadly never got a CD release of any kind. But "Totally Confused" was later released on the B-Sides EP. And "Lampshade" found its way to a few other release, and those are the clear winners on Western Harvest. But I would totally buy a remastered CD if it were ever released. Maybe expanded w/ extra "Piece Of Shit" tracks? Haha.

I don't know why I said "Derelict" was #2? Weird. Typing faster than I could think or vise versa. Either way... I still don't like that song.

Now here's a bit of food for thought: when the deluxe edition of Odelay was released, I realized that I preferred the new bonus disk to the original album. (Although that's not fully accurate as they put bonus tracks on disc 1 too. "Deadweight" for instance). But there's so much great material from this era that made it to b-sides... "Electric Music," "SA5," "Lemonade," "Brother," "Erase The Sun," "Feather In Your Cap" (the Suburbia version), and so on.

At any rate, I'm just glad I was greeted w/ a response otehr than "who cares? Beck sucks."

noisereductions 05.22.2017 09:52 AM

PS: I think I was also pissed that there was a song called "Derelict" which turned out to NOT be the song "Buried Alive" that he had been playing on tour that had the chorus "but that's got nothing to do with you/pointing a derelict's finger at you..." which was an incredible song and should have been on an album.

Severian 05.22.2017 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
PS: I think I was also pissed that there was a song called "Derelict" which turned out to NOT be the song "Buried Alive" that he had been playing on tour that had the chorus "but that's got nothing to do with you/pointing a derelict's finger at you..." which was an incredible song and should have been on an album.


I didn't really know this shit about Beck way back then (when Odelay was released). I knew Loser and I had Mellow Gold, but if I'm being totally honest, my favorite track on Mellow Gold was "Pay No Mind," which is probably the most traditional. I liked "Soul Suckin' Jerk" but it kinda freaked me out too, like some Butthole Surfers shit and the most twisted Lips songs did when I was a tween.

Seems like you're a much bigger fan of Beck than I am, ever have been, or probably ever will be. I do think he's positively dope, and capable of great things I just don't think he's recorded many of those great things.

Odelay was the album that made me take notice. It was just so, so good. I still wanted most of my music to be rock-oriented back then, and the fact that so much of it wasn't was really eye-opening for me.

I thought Beck was THE creative force behind Odelay though. Like, I basically thought he was skinny, nerdy, hipster Trent Reznor. Write, play, produce everything, etc. and I guess he does write and play more than most, but I think Odelay was more of a Dust Brothers "production" like you said. Sort of like how producers in the 2010s will release an album under their name with vocals from a ton of motherfuckers. Odelay was like the embryonic version of that. Producers didn't mean shit to most people, and I don't even think they were credited on the album notes (?), but this was like the 1996 version of... y'know... Flying Lotus' You're Dead. Only it was all Beck vocals n' shit.

I'm so tired and my carpel tunnel is acting up. Work is for bitchasses.

Odelay rules! It's like the sequel to Paul's Boutique. Paul's version 2.0. Updated for MTV2 audiences. God I love it.

Anyone who thinks it sucks... sucks.

noisereductions 05.24.2017 08:21 AM

sorry been busy and forgot to follow up. Not a contest of course - but I was certainly very very obsessed with Beck for a very very long time. I remember between Mellow Gold and Odelay that I was super into One Foot In The Grave (still my fav Beck album) and Stereopathetic. Most of my friends didn't know he made much more than "Loser" at the time. I was searching for rare singles and stuff, which at least got easier thanks to the internet haha. When I say that I was really into Beck, I mean taht I bought the She's The One sndtrk just to hear Tom Petty's cover of "Asshole." Y'know?

I totally get why folks love Odelay. And that's great. It's just not totally what I love Beck for. Which is confusing, because what I love him for is that each album is a totally different thing haha. Basically, yes, it sounds like the sequel to Paul's Boutique. I just didn't necessarily want him to be make the sequel to Paul's Boutique. But whatever. I'm talking in circles.

Odelay = a great Beck album + not my favorite Beck album.


 


Sky Blue Sky is... an interesting Wilco album. Okay, so they hired Nels Cline. So you're probably thinking "OMG time for Wilco to freejazz the F out" right? But no. This mostly a very quiet, very organic sounding album. I dare say 'folky'. I don't think a lot of people liked it? At least I don't think it did great critically. But I don't know. I don't really pay close attention to that stuff. I will say it's a grower. A slowburn. And actually pays off quite a bit if you give it the chance. There's some great great stuff here. "Either Way" opens things off on a solid soft note. "Please Be Patient With Me" is achingly gorgeous, sad, and honest. "Hate It Here" is a standout. No, wait. Actually there's lots of standouts once you've given it a real chance. "Impossible Germany"? "Side With Seeds"? Great great stuff. "Shake It Off" is pretty annoying though.

Severian 05.24.2017 09:22 AM

I bought the She's the One soundtrack too. :(

noisereductions 05.24.2017 09:56 AM

ha!

The Soup Nazi 05.24.2017 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Severian
I bought the She's the One soundtrack too. :(


That is an EXCELLENT album! I'll even say that in terms of sheer repeateable playability, it might be Petty's best. And "Hung Up And Overdue" annihilates all indie Pet Sounds imitators (didn't hurt to have Carl Wilson on harmony vocals, certainly).

The Soup Nazi 05.24.2017 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
[...] an interesting Wilco album [...]


From http://solidsoundfestival.com/being-there-it-is/ :

Quote:

Some outtasite news from Wilco HQ. The polls are closed, the votes have been tabulated and we can call it official: Wilco will play Being There in its entirety on Friday night at Solid Sound.

In the end, it was something of a landslide.

 


I'll bet you my Lester Bangs collection that Jeff Tweedy is gonna crap on the audience (just a little bit...) for giving some of Wilco's albums 1 or even 0 percent. AND play songs from exactly those records after "Dreamer In My Dreams".

Severian 05.24.2017 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Soup Nazi
That is an EXCELLENT album! I'll even say that in terms of sheer repeateable playability, it might be Petty's best. And "Hung Up And Overdue" annihilates all indie Pet Sounds imitators (didn't hurt to have Carl Wilson on harmony vocals, certainly).


I thought "Walls" was a really good song.

noisereductions 05.25.2017 07:27 AM

 


it's always weird to try to talk 'normally' about one of the greatest bands ever. Y'know? Like probably most people, I bought Bleach after Nevermind. So it was kind of a jarring record to hear at the time. The rough edges that had been "smoothed" for Nevermind were ever present on Bleach. Mind, this was some years before I'd be properly introduced to the Melvins etc, so Bleach sounded HEAVY for a "grunge" album. It sounded dark and kind of scary. Except "About A Girl" which was poppy as F and would a few years later become a signature tune for the band thanks to Unplugged; and "Love Buzz" which sounded way more like the Nirvana that I preferred. As a side-note, I think that there are two kinds of Nirvana people: the ones who prefer the heaviness and sludginess of Bleach (my wife) and the ones who prefer the punky/new-waviness of Incesticide (me). Many years later, I certainly have a far bigger appreciation of Bleach. I mean, "School" has 3 lines and is yet an amazing epic headbanger that says a lot of shit in just 3 lines. Y'know? But if I'm being honest, I love half of this record and I like the other half. Which... I mean it's still Nirvana. Even the songs I just 'like' are still Nirvana so their better the most things that are not Nirvana. Going back to the beginning, it's weird to try to talk about Nirvana albums like a normal person. This is my least favorite Nirvana album - which doesn't matter because it's still better than most other things.

Severian 05.25.2017 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
 


it's always weird to try to talk 'normally' about one of the greatest bands ever. Y'know? Like probably most people, I bought Bleach after Nevermind. So it was kind of a jarring record to hear at the time. The rough edges that had been "smoothed" for Nevermind were ever present on Bleach. Mind, this was some years before I'd be properly introduced to the Melvins etc, so Bleach sounded HEAVY for a "grunge" album. It sounded dark and kind of scary. Except "About A Girl" which was poppy as F and would a few years later become a signature tune for the band thanks to Unplugged; and "Love Buzz" which sounded way more like the Nirvana that I preferred. As a side-note, I think that there are two kinds of Nirvana people: the ones who prefer the heaviness and sludginess of Bleach (my wife) and the ones who prefer the punky/new-waviness of Incesticide (me). Many years later, I certainly have a far bigger appreciation of Bleach. I mean, "School" has 3 lines and is yet an amazing epic headbanger that says a lot of shit in just 3 lines. Y'know? But if I'm being honest, I love half of this record and I like the other half. Which... I mean it's still Nirvana. Even the songs I just 'like' are still Nirvana so their better the most things that are not Nirvana. Going back to the beginning, it's weird to try to talk about Nirvana albums like a normal person. This is my least favorite Nirvana album - which doesn't matter because it's still better than most other things.


I would divvy up Nirvana fans differently myself. I think people are either Nevermind people or In Utero people. And while there's a lot of overlap, I think most hardcore Nirvana fans strongly prefer one to the other.

Bleach vs. Incesticde is weird because Incesticide isn't an album, and Bleach is. I think the highlights of Incesticide are pretty obviously better than the highlights of Bleach. Talkin' about "Dive," "Sliver," the Vaselines covers. But as a whole Bleach is a much sturdier and more consistent effort because it's a consistent effort, and marks a specific time in the band's history. It's a true document, while Incesticide is... not.

I think "Aneurysm" is probably my favorite Nirvana song of all time, but the version on Incesticide is horrendous. I thank God/Satan/Cthulhu for Muddy Banks because it gave us a recorded version of the song that is just positively nuclear.

Also, I'm totally an In Utero guy. And as great as Nirvana was, I don't really entertain the illusion that Bleach was a masterpiece just because it's a Nirvana record. It's a really good debut with some kickass songs, but it's still embryonic Nirvana. I'm not sure if it's even as good as Superfuzz Bigmuff. And I know it's not as good as, say, Doolittle or Bug or other albums from that 18-24 month period that were ultimately much bigger parts of the whole alternative scene, even if the artists behind them were ultimately much less significant than Nirvana.

Oh, also Isn't Anything. And Daydream Nation, of course.

I think Bleach is great, but it's kind of like Nirvana's version of mid-80s Flaming Lips. Which was also occasionally great, but the Lips were still trying to be Butthole Surfers at that time, and Nirvana was more or less trying to be the Melvins with Bleach.

In short, it's good and healthy for this to be your least favorite Nirvana album. When compared to what they would go on to do just two and four years later, it's ultimately just an origin story. If a good one.

noisereductions 05.25.2017 09:46 AM

Yeah I was kind of saying that there are Nevermind/In Utero people. And then there are Bleach/Incesticide people. Kind of a secondary choice. Though I kind of love Nevermind & In Utero the same - just in diff ways. And I know Incesticide isn't a proper album. But it feels like an album. The sequencing, and the song choice - let's be honest, there were plenty of other b-sides/outtakes/etc that could have been included. The ones that were chosen seem to have been so because they felt like a cohesive whole. I think anyway. But I'm weird. I've generally cited Incestide and Unplugged as my absolute favorite Nirvana LP's. So I don't know. I'm sure I'll get baffled stares for that one, but it is what it is. In fairness I'd call Nevermind, In Utero, Incesticide, Unplugged all 5-star albums. So honestly calling any of them my favorite is kind of a toss up anyway.

EDIT: Also, when Incesticide came out I was like 11. I didn't understand that it wasn't an album. So it was to me. It was a new long playing Nirvana CD. It even had a music video released from it. Y'know? So to me, it was just as much an album as Nevermind was.

"Aneuryism" is amazing. And I agree that the Muddy Banks version is top notch. Though I have nothing against the Incesticide one. Shrug.

Hey speaking of live albums isn't it ultimately pretty weird that there are so few Nirvana live albums? I mean, this is one of the most bootlegged bands of the day. Right? I mean, maybe it's great that Courtney or Universal or whoever has decided not to get too crazy with releases. But there's Unplugged, Muddy Banks, and later there's the show on the Bleach reissue and then the Reading album. (I know there was that Paramount show on DVD, but sadly not CD...)

Oh wait, there was show was on the Nevermind box set right? I don't have either of those big expanded Nevermind/InUtero deluxe sets yet. So I'm kind of forgetting what was included in each. EDIT: Ok yeah, so the Nevermind boxset has Paramount on CD, while the In Utero one has Live & Loud on CD... so I really do need both of these already...

BTW, I knew that In Utero was yr fav w/o you telling me. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Pinkerton is your favorite Weezer album? For Pixies I'm gonna guess...hmm, Surfer Rosa?

But yes, I agree with the Lips/Bhole/Nirvana/Melvins thing. Yup.

Severian 05.25.2017 10:37 AM

I actually don't know if I prefer Pinkerton to the Blue Album. Probably not. It's not as strong song-wise. Just isn't. It's good and stuff, but Blue's better. Although to be honest I never ever listen to either of them. Hah.

But yes, Surfer Rosa is my favorite/the best Pixies album. Duh. ;)

Severian 05.25.2017 10:44 AM

I tend to like my guitar rock music to be on either freaky and angular and super gnarly, or super spaced-out. It's weird that I love The Soft Bulletin so much actually. I'd think I'd be more of an Embryonic guy. But actually my favorite Lips album is In a Priest Driven Ambulance, so... yah.

I defy stuff :cool:

noisereductions 05.25.2017 10:50 AM

I think if I had to choose a favorite it'd probably be Transmissions From The Satellite Heart honestly.

But honestly they had a fantastic run of 90's albums. Hit To Death, Clouds, Priest... some great stuff in there. Including Ronald on guitar.

Zaireeka/Bulletin are an obvious departure of that sound, and the next phase of Lips.

Severian 05.25.2017 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
I think if I had to choose a favorite it'd probably be Transmissions From The Satellite Heart honestly.

But honestly they had a fantastic run of 90's albums. Hit To Death, Clouds, Priest... some great stuff in there. Including Ronald on guitar.

Zaireeka/Bulletin are an obvious departure of that sound, and the next phase of Lips.


Their '90s run was incredible. So many different styles and sounds in one decade. The '80s were kind of a pre-zygotic time for the Lips. The hadn't really figured out what they wanted to be, and what came out was a grab bag of Butthole Surfers, J&MC, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa. All of it was a bit derivative until In a Priest Driven Ambulance, but I still like that stuff. I think the 2010s have probably been their worst decade.

It's funny that you're warming to Oczy Mlody... I listened to it like crazy at first, but now I don't even think about it. I'm just not in a Flaming Lips headspace these days, which is weird. I usually go through about 2-3 months of nothing but Lips every year. That started to cool down in after Embryonic.

I'm glad I got a chance to see them on this tour though. The show was good. I suppose t could be argued that they went a little overboard with the unicorn shit, but still... they nailed some of the classics, big time

They didn't play "Shine on Sweet Jesus" or "The Gash" though, goddamn their hides. Will I never see "The Gash" performed live? What a terrible fate.

I'm listening to the new Jlin btw. Good. Not your cup of tea, I suspect, but really, really fuckin' good.

noisereductions 05.25.2017 01:10 PM

I don't know what Jlin is.

I guess I'd probably agree w/ 2010's being their worst decade. Though I did like the Heady Fwends album. And I know you hated the SGT Pepper, but I did really like it a lot. I actually pulled The Terror out last night with the intention of giving it another spin soon. I haven't even listened to it since it first came out. Wasn't a fan then. But I figured that I've warmed up to Oczy so maybe I should try again.

noisereductions 05.25.2017 06:53 PM

 


alright now the bonus stuff, which is a brief live show from 1990. And it's awesome. Great early live show that kind of illustrates what I was saying about Bleach vs Incesticide. So you got stuff like "Molly's Lips" and "Been A Son" and "Dive" and the way it fits against the Bleach stuff... it's like a punkier poppier version of this band y'know? I also didn't realize that "Sappy" had been written so early. I figured that was actually something written AFTER Nevermind. But now I'm fuzzy about when No Alternative was released anyway. At any rate, the live stuff makes it worth re-buying Bleach.


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