Beck - Odelay - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Beck - Odelay

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2002-12-23

That's the great thing about being a written off as a one-hit wonder--it really focuses your mind on making a stunning, no-holds-barred eat-that-you-smug-critics album the year after. It happened with Radiohead, from "Creep" to The Bends; Supergrass, from "Alright" to In It For The Money, and, most notably, with Beck, from "Loser" to Odelay. As thrilling today as on its release, Odelay is the sound of new musical frontiers being opened up: no-one before had thought to arrange a shot-gun marriage between hip-hop and Bob Dylan before and, as the subsequent slew of poor imitators proved, that was because only Beck could pull it off (with the help of the Dust Brothers, who also produced the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique). "Devil's Haircut" and "New Pollution" warped pop's boundaries on entering the Top Twenty; and "Where It's At" still kicks like a mule in a can-can line. They were calling him "The White Prince" by the end of the year, you know. --Caitlan Moran

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