Review Summary: To answer your question, no. This is not the album with "Loser" on it.
Good ol' Beck Hansen. You may know him from his major-label debut, "Mellow Gold", namely his hit single, "Loser", which hit the top of the charts in 1994, and is now considered to be an alt-rock classic. But little do most people know, Beck actually released 2 other albums in '94: "One Foot in the Grave", a folk-tinged salute to basement recording studios, and "Stereopathetic Soulmanure". The latter album is Beck's least-known, and comprises of a whopping 23 tracks, most of which have trouble cracking the 2-minute mark. It's really hard to describe the overall sound of this record, as it is so varied, but I'll try to give you an idea of each individual track, just to show you exactly HOW varied it is. So, fasten your seat belts, and let's travel into some of the most screwed-up aspects of the 90's with Beck's Stereopathetic Soulmanure!
We kick off our journey with some weird guitar noodling, which launches us into Pink Noise (Rock Me Amadeus), a frenzied, noisy grunge-fest. Beck yells at us some indecipherable lyrics, as the guitar noise reaches almost unbearable levels towards the end. This is actually kind of a misleading start to the album, as you can clear see as the next track, Rowboat begins. This is the one song that got me into country music, which I hated with a passion up until I heard this. Beck, who had just screamed his brains out at us a minute ago, is now crooning some rather pretty lyrics while strumming an acoustic guitar. A true standout, this song was so good that the late, great Johnny Cash actually performed a cover of it. After that soothing country ballad, we're greeted with more whiplash (seriously, who came up with this track listing"!), as Beck performs his take on an early Ween song, Thunder Peel. A punk-influenced tune with head-scratching lyrics, this SHOULD be a throwaway track, but it actually ends up being almost a lost classic. Don't worry, though, there are PLENTY of throwaways to be found here! In fact, that's one of my main problems with this album; there are way too many filler tracks on it (8 to be exact). It's like you have to dig through all the pointless crap to get to the REAL songs on here. Although the filler on here really does characterize the album, though, and it gives it that little bit of extra weirdness.
Anyway, the next track is filler. The Spirit Moves Me is another slow country song, with no real chorus. Beck just piles together a slew of really funny lyrics, and throws them into this ballad. Next up is Crystal Clear (Beer), which is another one of my favorites. It's almost a psychedelic song, in a weird way, with only Beck and his guitar strumming a strange ballad. No Money No Honey is a track straight from Beck first official recording, Golden Feelings. It's really basic, just Beck and a homeless guy named Ken singing the title again and again. It's a nice little song, and the inclusion of Ken really showcases the relationship that Beck has with his audience. But in the tradition of early Beck, along with all the good songs on the album, there's always a couple of real crap-fests included as well. Total Soul Future (Eat It) is a pointless non-song that is so out-of-tune that it can't even be called a "tune". I'm also gonna jump to the song Tasergun, a sloppy doom-metal song. This is another one where you have to really listen to figure out what the tune is supposed to sound like.
So after Total Soul Future, we have One Foot in the Grave (the title of another Beck album from the same year), a fun stomp-along folk tune in the vein of Dylan. Aphid Manure Heist is just a pointless sound experiment. Today Has Been a F****d Up Day is a traditional banjo tune with added expletives for good measure. This is one song where you can clearly tell that it's being recorded in a basement. Then, Rollins Power Sauce plows in. Much like the title suggests, it is a Henry Rollins-style thrash song, that comes and goes in a flash, leaving you scratching your head in confusion. Puttin' It Down is another lost gem, a return to the folkiness of his earlier recordings, a folkiness which has been much less present on this album. This song is much more recognizable as a Beck song, rather than "a strange song performed by Beck". Cut-In-Half Blues is another song that seems tuneless on the outside, but if you really listen, you'll eventually recognize the tune within. In contrast to Total Soul future, however, it's actually ENJOYABLE, and features some genuinely funny lyrics that'll keep you in stitches (no pun intended).
Jagermeister Pie and Ozzy are a couple of really strange filler tracks, but they have enough charm and enjoyability to be considered good. The former is just a one-minute accordion tune with some really strange chords, and the latter is a hilarious live performance of a seemingly-improvised tribute to Ozzy Osbourne. Then, the centerpiece of the entire album; Satan Gave Me a Taco. This has got to be one of my favorite songs of all time. I mean, the story it tells is so hilarious and engaging, and the tune is such a great fit for such a song. This song is such a great fit for Beck, and it'll have you singing along all the way through. Unfortunately, we have Tasergun to slow us down, and we come to the last track, Modesto. A simple, chorus-less country ballad much like Rowboat, this is the OTHER song that got me into country music. It's almost as good as Rowboat, and it has such a beautiful melody, it really is the perfect way to end this crazy album. ...Oh, wait, there's some extra noise at the end. Skip that.
So, that's my review of Stereopathetic Soulmanure. With such a diverse list of so many songs, this album will leave you both confused and satisfied. Definitely meant for Beck's biggest fans and collectors, but I'd recommend this album to anyone with an open mind. This will make a great addition to your collection.