Musick’s Top 20 Albums: 07

07. Beck
Modern Guilt

If the last two Beck albums have seen Mr Hansen at his most meandering, then Modern Guilt shows what can happen when he keeps things tight. At just over half an hour long Modern Guilt never outstays it’s welcome, with producer Danger Mouse keeping a tight lid on any funk solos or jazz interludes. That’s not to say it’s not an inventive record; ‘Gamma Ray’ is his best single in years, a dirty, swampy jam that makes you dance while contemplating nuclear holocaust. In fact most of Modern Guilt is wracked with…er…well, guilt, but guilt that makes you shake your moneymaker. You’re never quite sure what it is Beck is trying to communicate, but each song is imbued with a palatable fear, be it in the psych-freak-out ‘Chemtrails’ or the funky ‘Youthless’. He may not be at the tip of the cultural zeitgeist anymore, but he’s settled into a rhythm of consistency that few can match.

Key track: ‘Modern Guilt’

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