The Information



by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
October 4th, 2006 | 34 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Beck has always been known for his spontaneity. Every one of his albums has a distinct sound whether it be the late night funk of Midnite Vultures or the melancholy depression of Sea Change. No matter what he was up to Beck always seemed to be making some unique and entertaining music regardless of it’s sound or style. In 2005 when Guero was released some critics and fans started to question Becks creativity as many music fans referred to it as “Odelay pt.2.” While this isn’t entirely true it was quite evident that Beck was quickly running out of ideas.

When I first heard The Information I didn’t really have much of an opinion. The album seemed a bit inconsistent yet Beck shows off more interesting ideas on here then he did on Guero. The Information shows off some unique and inventive moments but there’s obviously something missing. It seems like Beck has lost a lot of his luster; the music lacks the chilled out grooves found on earlier releases and it doesn’t feature many hard rocking moments either. Beck has gone for a more dance/funk type of style that is found on Midnite Vultures only this time Beck throws a few more random tracks out there that don’t fit the mood. He throws in tracks like Movie Theme which have the depressing vibe that would likely be found on Sea Change and he lumps it between two upbeat dance anthems. Dark Star is another dud as it possesses a calm and atmospheric chorus yet the song isn’t catchy or soothing, it sounds half-assed and worst of all uninteresting. Strange Apparition reminds me of a Ben Folds Five tune as it’s bland piano arrangement carries the song. The big problem is that Beck doesn’t do anything fun or new and The Information suffers because of useless tracks that aren’t exactly bad songs yet they don’t have any interesting or redeeming values.

The main aspect that keeps The Information above a sub-par level is how Beck does come up with some very sleazy, upbeat, and funky tunes. Cellphone’s Dead samples Herbie Hancocks “Chameleon” as it’s zany bassline and odd lyrical topic combine to create an original and upbeat pop tune that rivals any track off of Midnite Vultures. The opening track Elevator Music is also a fun and original cut as its psychadelic keyboard effects and trance inducing chorus blend together to form a strange sound that blends Egyptian sounding rhythms and zany electro-pop. Throughout the album there are many pleasant surprises, including plenty of sugary pop hooks and funky keyboard melodies but that’s it. When Beck attempts to think outside the box the music sounds dull and boring, not to mention the fact that most of the slow-paced, melancholy tunes are very out of place. No Complaints is a mesh of folk and funk as it’s laid back chorus and folky guitar hook combine to create a catchy pop tune and although the song doesn’t sound out of place it’s doesn’t even sound like Beck is trying.

However the main problem with The Information is how there are no rock tracks. Beck never leaves his comfort zone, he sticks to his funk-pop formula and never picks up the guitar to “rock out.” There are no guitar driven songs and the music focuses on wacky keyboard driven instrumentation, the overall sound is very dull and uninspiring. Beck never alters his lazy vocal delivery and his hilarious lyrics have all gone out the window. He definitely knows how to write some fun pop songs but his lyrical nonsense and energetic nature have all gone to hell.

All in all The Information isn’t exactly a bad album but it’s one of Becks worst efforts. He sounds bored, lazy, and uninspired as the music contains a kinky yet laid back sort of atmosphere. There are obviously some excellent and completely original tunes like Cellphones Dead, Nausea, and 1000BPM but they don’t save the album. Beck puts together five or six enjoyable songs and fills the rest of the album up with boring grooves and unmemorable choruses. It’s unfortunate that The Information was such a letdown as it does contain some interesting ideas and concepts yet in the end it’s filled with to much uninspired pop fluff to be considered a solid piece of work.

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user ratings (472)
other reviews of this album
Two-Headed Boy (3)
Beck's latest release dabbles in hip hop, funk and techno and the overall quality is mixed- recomend...

Generic Joshman (3.5)

dylantheairplane (3.5)
"One, Two, You Know What To Do!" Or Not....

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

Sorry Two Headed Boy, but I had already started. Plus your review will show off a completely different and more popular opinion.

October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review, but I have to disagree with the rating.

October 5th 2006


Nice review, I haven't heard this, but I was disappointed by Guero's self-pastichizing (not a word) so this probably won't do it either.
Grammar lesson: You need an apostrophe in "Herbie Hancocks" but not in the its in "it's zany bassline".

October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Its a shame this didn't turn out so well. I've always liked Beck, but the biggest problem with his music is that his vocals, escpecially on Geuro, are very dull and throughout the whole album he shows no energy whatsoever. It sounds like he should have waited awhile to write some more good tracks before putting out a new album, but hes still a very talented guy. Great review as usual, but what about the videos?

October 5th 2006


Pitchfork has a different cover.

Yeah, this album is okay. Beck kind of lost it after Sea Change. Now he makes albums with a few great tracks, maybe a good one or two, and a dozen boring songs.

The Jungler
October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Someone should write of review of just the videos.

This wasn't that bad of a CD, it had some really awful tracks, but some pretty good ones. I wouldn't call it worse than Guero, that's for sure. Good job Zebra, I was actually planning on doing this, but it's probably better if you and THB do it, I have plenty to review anyways. Once again, nice work.

October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

I have yet to hear this. Good review.

October 5th 2006


I have not heard this yet. Good review.

October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Agreed, although I liked Guero quite a bit.

October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

It seems like Beck tries to be interesting on this album, but it usually comes out sounding bored and too laid back.

October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

good review. you beat two headed boy to the punch lol

October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

If this drops into the 2's I am going to have hit someone, or cyber hit someone. Damn sputnik *Mad Face*.This Message Edited On 10.05.06

Two-Headed Boy
October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I would've reviewed this if Generic Joshman kid didn't. Nice work, though, you supported your opinions well.

Plus I happen to really like Guero.

Two-Headed Boy
October 5th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Pitchfork has a different cover.

That's probably because the album comes with a sticker book and you get to make your own cover. Nothing short of awesome.

John Paul Harrison
October 5th 2006


Nothing short of awesome.

Would you expect anything less cool from Beck?

October 6th 2006


Awesome review. I've never really checked out Beck, just haven't been to interested in him.

October 6th 2006


Zebra, the review is good, but your misuse of apostrophes is annoying!

October 18th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

i heard some of this at the music store i go to and it sounds really good the only reason i didnt get it is because i desperately needed some doors and jefferson airplane. this is on my list though.

October 23rd 2006


What can you say about Beck other than... well it sounds like Beck

They have such a unique sound especially when they have hip-hop songs

I like Think I'm In Love and Dark Star

November 25th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I really like this album, I don't get all the negativity. The only weak tracks I can pick out are "New Round" and maybe the last track. Much better than Guero for me.

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