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On Beck album, pop sets an ironist free

Update: October, 12/2017 - 14:55
Beck, pictured at the 2016 Eurockeennes music festival in France, has released his 10th studio album, titled "Colors". — AFP Photo
Viet Nam News

NEW YORK — If there’s a word to sum up Beck’s musical style, it is eclecticism. Over two decades he has become an alternative rock icon by swerving among genres, from folk to hip-hop to the mariachi tunes he heard in the streets of Los Angeles. 

Yet his underlying thread was irony. Besides two albums that made pit-stops for somber self-reflection, Beck has flummoxed three generations of listeners with fantastical wordplay, creating a lyrical universe in which in the time of chimpanzees he was a monkey, and in which Satan gave him (at separate times) a taco and a haircut.

For his 10th studio album, Colors, released on Friday, Beck switched gears again. But this time, he has stitched together the closest he has come to a straightforward pop album.

Colors is Beck’s follow-up to 2014’s Morning Phase, one of his career’s two melancholic turns. Morning Phase won the Grammy for Album of the Year, perplexing Beck as well as much of the music industry as he faced much better-selling artists including Beyonce.

While Morning Phase was stripped-back and lonesome, Colors, true to its name, is about vividness. And the 47-year-old Beck feels liberated.

"I’m so free!" Beck exclaims in a song of the same name in a theme that comes up repeatedly on Colors.

"The way that I walk is up to me now," he explains. — AFP

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