Beck
Midnite Vultures


4.0
excellent

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
June 14th, 2012 | 17 replies | 3,563 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Midnite Vultures is flourishing with a deranged sense of psychedelia that disorient the senses, while mesmerizing the mind with surrealistic melodies.

Surrealism has often been defined as an artistic movement that deviates from the conscious laws of reason and convention. It is a philosophy dedicated to exploring the most obscure realms of the human imagination. Surrealism originally began as an expressionistic approach to visual art, but the ideology of imaginative indulgence transcended into other art-forms such as film and music. Beck has once been described as a composer whose music spontaneously transcends through genres, while simultaneously reinventing them. Beck's pervious albums, like Mellow Gold and Odelay!, displayed a distinctively eccentric and innovative musical style. Amalgamating different genres such as Folk, Hip-hop, Rock and Electronica to create an unusual listening experience that is directly inspired by the unconventional nature of surrealism.

Beck's prior albums have constantly exposed us to his experimental tendencies, but none of those experiences even come close to the utter abnormality of Midnite Vultures. This is Beck showing absolutely no restrain, as he takes us on a metaphysical journey to the most abstract dimensions of his mind. "Nicotine & Gravy" is perhaps the essence of what Midnite Vultures is all about. The song is composed by an excessive barrage of psychedelic effects flowing along a mellow arrangement of bass and drums. But as we descend further and further into "Nicotine & Gravy", we find the song being constructed by a diverse musical landscape that arrives to an eruptive medley of kaleidoscopic sounds.

Midnite Vultures introduces an eccentric style of ambient music. "Peaches & Cream" displays the typical musical approach of the album, exhibiting condensed layers of sounds comprised from the rhythmic groove of Funk music and trancing instrumental elements. As I said before, this album is flourishing with a deranged sense of psychedelia that disorient the senses, while mesmerizing the mind with surrealistic melodies. We can really see Beck's growth as a songwriter in this album. The lyrical content still contains Beck's usual delivery of nonsensical comedic witticism, but the instrumental sections demonstrate innovative orchestral techniques that we hadn't really seen in his past albums.

In songs like "Hollywood Freaks" and "Get Real Paid", we find Beck returning to some of his past tendencies as he revisits his Hip-Hop and Electronic roots. We have seen Beck incorporate both electronic and sampling effects in his music before, but they were always an occasional decorative arrangement. In Midnite Vultures, electronic sequences serve to play a prominent role in the musical structure of almost every song on the album, adding a higher level of spontaneity to the music. "Milk & Honey" and "Mixed Bizness" perfectly display all of the different approaches Beck uses with electronic effects, from eruptive discharges of cosmic sounds to inducing a more melodious dancing atmosphere. In the end, Midnite Vultures proves to be highly entertaining because it's simply Beck doing what he does best- altering the norms of musical orchestration while blending several different musical elements to create a truly captivating musical experience.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 14th 2012



4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

This album sounds like LSD in musical form.

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

macadoolahicky
June 14th 2012



1835 Comments


"This album sounds like LSD in musical form."

That fucking album cover looks like a wild trip as well.


Sweet review. I've never actually listened to much Beck, so where should I start? I see you said his music can often be considered folky. What's his folkiest release? Also, typically songs go in quotes and album titles are italicized.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 14th 2012



4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

@Silentpotato
agree!

@macadoolahicky
look up the songs like "Loser" (youve had to have heard this) and "Lost Cause" for a "folky" kind of sound with slight trippy effects.
For the weird trippy stuff look up "Nicotine and Gravy" or "Milk & Honey".

macadoolahicky
June 14th 2012



1835 Comments


Oh, Loser's one of my favorite songs to hear pop up on the radio! Pisses my folks off, which is actually kind of funny. Iight will do, thanks

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 14th 2012



4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Yeah its a good song. I hope you enjoy Beck' other stuff.

YoYoMancuso
June 14th 2012



10995 Comments


great review

CaptainDooRight
June 14th 2012



28687 Comments


Good review Paper! Pos. I enjoyed the flow and your use of an expanded vocabulary.

A few minor fixes:

In your first paragraph before "Amalgamating" there should be a semi-colon.

"This is Beck showing absolutely no restrain"

*restraint

"this album is flourishing with a deranged sense of psychedelia that disorient the senses"

*disorients

" electronic sequences serve to play a prominent role "

*"as" a, or "serves" to play a

---Again your review was really good. I'm hardly familiar with Beck's work so this convincing and enticing review is just what I need to fix that. :]

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

ThroneOfAgony
June 14th 2012



3485 Comments


Oh wow, what a coincidence. I picked this album up a few days ago at my local FYE, and I must say, I didn't enjoy it all.

Review is great though, I can see your point

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 14th 2012



4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

@Throne
Thanks, and yeah I suppose it's not for everyone. Its one of those weird albums thats either a hit or miss.

@Captain
Oh thanks Captain, I missed all of those during my proofreading. Theyre pretty minor, so I'm not going to bug the mods for them, but thanks for the feedback.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 14th 2012



4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

@Silent
That song is serious headtrip.

breakingthefragile
June 15th 2012



2954 Comments


Great review, have a pos. Doesn't change my mind though, I still think this album is overrated as shit, and the fact that I'm just now realizing that there isn't a review of this with a rating less than a 4 infuriates me even more so.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 15th 2012



31047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, album is definitely overrated

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 15th 2012



4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

I have to disagree Deviant, but i also dont think its "underrated".
Its a really fun album, certainly not universally accesible. i love the trippiness of the album, so many things happening at once and even the experimental tendencies are constructed in way thats really catchy. I personally enjoyed most of it, hence the rating. but hey, we all have our tastes.

ZedO
June 15th 2012



1096 Comments


nice review mate, have to check this despite dev said that it is overrated ;]

kingsoby1
Emeritus
June 16th 2012



4950 Comments


i think you're doing a solid job, but just try and knock down the amount of words you're using; that's the main problem i see with younger writers. for example:

In songs like "Hollywood Freaks" and "Get Real Paid", we find Beck returning to some of his past tendencies as he revisits his Hip-Hop and Electronic roots. We have seen Beck incorporate both electronic and sampling effects in his music before, but they were always an occasional decorative arrangement. In Midnite Vultures, electronic sequences serve to play a prominent role in the musical structure of almost every song on the album, adding a higher level of spontaneity to the music. "Milk & Honey" and "Mixed Bizness" perfectly display all of the different approaches Beck uses with electronic effects, from eruptive discharges of cosmic sounds to inducing a more melodious dancing atmosphere."

Essentially, you're saying the same thing three different ways, when you could probably shorten it to 1 compound sentence. otherwise, i think you're giving a bit too much background and philosophical musings. Delete the entire first paragraph, seriously. then fix up that last paragraph per what i just said, and you're all set.

StallionMang
November 17th 2013



5371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

HOT MILK
MMM TWEAK MY NIPPLE

Digging: TTNG - This Town Needs Guns

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2013



4400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

@Soby
I'm just now seeing your comment. but yeah, that was one thing I've been trying to fix up in my recent stuff. I honestly hate looking at my old reviews, the wordiness and ridiculous lengths, like you said, were a major problem that I think I've finally fixed for the better.

I really need to come back and re-write this, as well as others when I get a chance.



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