What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that a few conceptually violent words are used, either with gentle instrumental tracks or as poetic non sequiturs.
What's the story?
On GUERO, his sixth major-label album, Beck lets himself loose in a playground of musical influences. There are Bossa Nova and Bo Diddley beats, Spanish-language lyrics, synthesized string sections, hip-hop moments, sensitive balladry, and a space-cowboy-folksy sensibility in stories told with a degree of self-reflection that might seem excessive to non-teenagers. With lyrics that are visceral yet obscure, the songs could be deep, or they might be vapid -- it's just hard to tell, and perhaps beside the point. Occasional violent imagery is defused by its obscure poetic context, and phrases like \"loaded rifle\" or \"confection of venom\" don't seem to be the point either.
Is it any good?
This CD delivers an imaginative and interesting collection of diverse styles and oddly powerful, if sometimes inaccessible, poetry. All of this is wrapped inside richly textured arrangements and perfectionist instrumental performances, sung with Beck's familiar expressive, adenoidal vocal stylings. Overall, it's a strong offering from an interesting artist who can't help but be his own weird and wonderful self.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the power of musical context, and whether the words "trigger" and "noose" (for example) seem more or less threatening over soft, sweet instrumentals than visceral hip-hop beats.