ALBUM REVIEW: Beck – Colors

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Beck’s much anticipated 13th album follows the lush and melancholic Morning Phase and though Colors is equally lush, it’s an album built on widescreen technicolor, bold sonic brushstrokes and a saturated pop aesthetic.

On first listen it feels like the quirks and eccentricities that made Beck so iconic are absent on this album but dig below the pop-laminated surface and you’ll find an equally audacious approach to song-craft.

Beck dials in funk, hip hop and psychedelia, exquisitely blending rock guitars and low slung beats in a clever collision of synthetic and organic musicality. ‘No Distraction’ is a standout with its clipped funk and snaking vocal melodies. Like many of these songs he operates in areas of structural cliche – build-ups and anthemic choruses – but it’s all done with an auteur’s ear and sleight of hand that belies the complexities at play.

Old school Beck fans will enjoy the collage-constructed ‘Wow’ but the overwhelming focus of Colors is Beck’s continuing exploration of the frontiers of pop music, like a 21st century Steely Dan.

Chris Familton

NEWS: PLAYGROUND WEEKENDER lineup…

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The lineup is out for the Playground Weekender festival at Wisemans Ferry NSW on the 6,7,8th February 2009…  The site is the Del Rio Riverside Resort Del which has a 9-hole golf course, a lake, riverside chalets, a swimming pool, volleyball court, tennis courts and a clubhouse as well as resident kangaroos and wallaby’s…. just what every music festival needs!

Acts announced are:

Primal Scream, The Streets, Cold War Kids, Crystal Castles, Blue King Brown, Salmonella Dub, Soul II Soul Sound System, Grafton Primary, Nic Fanculi, Ashley Beedle, Norman Jay, Whomadewho, TZU, D.I.G (Directions in Groove), Ewan Pearson, Todd Terje, Tom Middleton, Jimpster, Paper Scissors, Mark De Clive-Lowe, Pomomofo, Russ Dewbury, and Wow.

Full info on tickets, facilities and accomodation can be found here.