Written By: White Chicks On Rap
For me, this has been a good year for music…some of my favorite artists (Gnarls Barkley, The Verve, Cat Power, Portishead and Coldplay) have released outstanding albums and the year is not over yet and I am anticipating albums from Keane and Oasis. Another album added to my list is Modern Guilt by Beck.
It is hard to believe that Beck is almost 40 years old; it seems like yesterday that he just came out with “Loser” and I spent my afternoon’s afterschool listening to Mellow Gold and trying to figure out all the meanings to Beck’s lyrics.
Modern Guilt is just open, honest album as a man questions the same things we all are…death, war, God and our souls. Joining Beck for the ride is producer Dangermouse. If you remember my review of Gnarls Barkley’s The Odd Couple, you know how much I love Dangermouse. Dangermouse and Beck bring a sixties feel without having to trip acid.
“Chemtrails” paints a picture of planes spraying chemicals leaving a trail of dead people. I am reminded of The Beatles’ song “Eleanor Rigby” by the line “So many people, where do they go?”
“Orphans” is very poetic as Beck sings about God. The lines “If I wake up and see my maker coming/With all of his crimson and his iron desire/We’ll drag the streets with the baggage of longing/To be loved or destroyed/From a void to a grain of sand in your hand” sound like they were taken from the Bible itself.
One of my favorite female singers, Cat Power joins Beck on “Orphans” and “Walls”. “Walls” is a true examination of one’s self. “Some days, we’re worse than you can imagine/And how am I supposed to live with that?” but Beck reasons that “we do the best with the souls we’re given.”
As I get older (and if you ask my editor I am old) and trying to find a sense of purpose and direction, I am totally feeling where Beck is coming from. This past year I have been through a range of emotions (and really I should not say the past year, I should say for the past 28 years) and I agree with Beck that “we do the best with the souls we’re given”.