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Midnite Vultures

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Audio CD, November 23, 1999
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Beck has traveled light years from being pegged as a reluctant generational spokesperson when “Loser” metamorphosed from a rejected demo to a ubiquitous smash. Instead he wound up crystallizing much of the post-modern ruckus of the ‘90s alternative explosion, but in his own unpredictable manner: Beck's singular career has been one that's seen him utilize all manners ... Read more in Amazon's Beck Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • ASIN: B000030009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sexx Laws
2. Nicotine & Gravy
3. Mixed Bizness
4. Get Real Paid
5. Hlwd. Freaks
6. Peaches & Cream
7. Broken Train
8. Milk & Honey
9. Beautiful Way
10. Pressure Zone
11. Debra

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


When Beck mangles folk, hip-hop, country, blues, and lo-fi rock into a unique sonic species, he pays homage to his influences in a way that is utterly entertaining. Indeed, the alt-rock vagabond is responsible for some of the 1990s' most indispensable music. In his lesser moments, however, Beck's attempts at emulating his preceptors fall flat, creating only B-grade versions of the genuine articles. Midnite Vultures splits down the middle between the great Beck and the not-so-great Beck. About half the album gorges on retro pulp fiction, a "Becksploitation," if you will, where his relatively straightforward impersonations shortchange his influences. On the slow-burn soul tracks "Peaches and Cream" and "Debra" or the 808-driven tributary "Hlwd. Freaks," he lacks the pipes, heart, and history to pass as a legitimate double-breasted soul man or old-school rapper. The other half, finding Beck in his element, is exhilarating. His unfaltering studio mastery is especially evident on standouts such as the horn-punched "Sexx Laws," the steamy, slap-bass-blasted "Nicotine and Gravy," and the wah-wah bombast of "Mixed Bizness." The album proves that Beck playing the straight-up funkateer will never match ranks with the raw talents of Marvin Gaye, George Clinton, or Prince, but as long as he adheres to more inventive genre splicing, he remains compelling in his own right. --Beth Massa

Customer Reviews

I bought this CD and after the first listening liked the album, and after the second I was totally hooked.
Janssen Kuhn
One can tell from just listening to one song that he had lots of fun making the album, but also put a great deal of work into it.
Midnite Vultures is essential for fans of Beck, but fans of almost any genre of music should enjoy this and Beck's other albums.
M. Scagnelli

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "krashbyrne" on December 8, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The new Beck album is perfect. It's gorgeous. It's a delight. Do I sound hyperbolic? Or just plain hyper? "Midnite Vultures" has restored my faith in pop. Beck, I could pinch your cheek, you gangly, goony freak. What's so great about "Midnite Vultures"? "Sexx Laws", the disc's first cut, kicks out the jams all funky like, proving for a blue-eyed blond, Beck is super fly. In fact, only Prince, or the Artist Formerly Known As That Squiggly Symbol, rivals Beck in sheer funkability. Drawing from classic 1970s soul and R&B, as well as organ-tinged '60s kitsch, "Midnite Vultures" is full of homage -and irony. But not for one second does it sound derivative. How does Beck pull it off? By incorporating awesome horn blasts and go-go dancin' riffs Freaky banjo pickin' and hilarious lyrics. If "Nicotine & Gravy" doesn't bust your gut, you're dead. Then comes "Peaches & Cream", a sultry soul gem with nasty background vocals the likes of which you haven't heard since Squiggle Symbol ditched the Revolution. Or the New Power Generation. Whichever. Listen to Beck's homage to the Isleys and Barry White on the slo-jam "Debra". Hear Beck do a right-on falsetto. (Where did THAT come from?) And girl, you better step inside his Hyundai, when Beck asks you. This guy means LOVE. Oh, Beck, thank you. I needed "Midnite Vultures". We all did. Go on with your bad self. 5 STARS!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "sunoxen" on November 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Beck's new album, Midnite Vultures is on the whole a differnt bird than his other works so far. If you liked Odelay's aural brilliance and experiementation, Midnite Vultures will either shock you pleasantly or seem a little overworked and obscure. The opening track, "SEXX Laws," is a gassed up torent of 70s brass and big stage antics that gives a b-slap to all that voodoo daddy nonsense. "Hollywood Freaks," a blistering satire/homage to the modern R&B scene post-Puff Daddy comes off as playfull and has a nice groove.
"Peaches and Cream," is an interection between Prince's "Rasperry Beret" and kitch American advertising ideal. And it works in its repititions and scope. "Beautiful Way," obviously the best track on this album, is a folksy/traintrack-bluesy/post-woodstock track and could best be compared to the best song Beck ever wrote, "Nobody's Fault but My Own." It is a sad and rolling track about a girl going insane and destroying her life.
My personal favorite on the album is a track called "Debra," a 70s suburban love song again with a touch of Prince falsetto. (I want to get with you/ only you/ and your sister/ I think her name's Debra?) Overall, this album may seem a little less inspired and free than Odelay, but it is still better than anything that is out there now.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Never before have I bought an album and been quite so blown away (save for Nine Inch Nails "The Fragile" or Self's "Breakfast with Girls"). This "official" follow-up to the Grammy winning "Odelay" is more than just a follow-up...it is the reigning king in the Beck repertoire. This album combines soulful motown loops with a sexy groove, and of course, is complete with the quirky ingenuity that is Beck. The CD begins with the brilliant "Sexxlaws", and continues to pound away with "Nicotine and Gravy". And if you think that the CD climaxes too early with "Mixed Bizness", then you haven't listened to the rest of the album. After an early 80s throwback ("Get Real Paid") and an homage to Puffy Style Rap ("Hlwd. Freaks"), he shines through with the remaining tracks (most notably "Peaches and Cream", "Milk & Honey", and "Pressure Zone"). The CD culminates with the silky-smooth "Debra" which drives the CD to a smart close, and pushes Beck's falsetto in a Prince-esque ode to the threesome. Overall, this disc is a must have for anyone who is looking for good music in this age of prefab rockers that couldn't write their way out of a musical hole in the ground.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Belcher on December 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I'm very envious of Beck and his freedom as an artist. "Mutations" absolutely blew me away and remains a staple in my CD player. "Midnight Vultures" displays more of Beck's irreverent lyrics and deft songwriting style, with more of an unbridled glee and jump-about thrill. The last five songs on the album are the real treat here, but the album unfolds much better than "Odelay" (which, as much of a Beck fan as I am...I could never appreciate). Highly recommended.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tommy on November 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Critic's rating: * * * * * Album: Midnite Vultures Label: Geffen Records Type of music: who knows? Beck has done it again! : Beck is one of those amazing artists that can jump from genre to genre and still maintain his likability and style. He's been working hard for the past year, releasing two albums within 12 months of each other. His material has always been unique and fun. In "Mellowgold" he grabbed a folksy alternative audience, in "Odelay" he combined nearly every style of music into an alternative rock masterpiece, in "Mutations" he went back to a Dylan-ish folksy style, and now with "Midnite Vultures," he's continuing his trademark style and substance. "Midnite Vultures" takes a trip back to some of his "Odelay" material, but with more of a 70's groove and a funky sound. I was actually a bit worried about this album when Beck said that it was going to be a party album, but after listening to the CD a few times, I now have 11 new favorite songs. None of the songs disappointed me and there is always something new to find. Most of the songs start out with a 70's sound and gradually morph into more unusual styles like funk, rap, techno, alternative, jazz, and even bluegrass. His weirdness doesn't overwhelm you, and the album's lyrics are funny and twisted. Best Songs: While all of the songs are excellently strange, a few really stick out as my favorites. Quite possibly the best song and also this album's first single, "Sexx Laws" starts the CD with an upbeat funk/swing/motown sound. Also in that same vein is the song "Mixed Bizness" which has a great 70's groove that makes you want to dance and a wild funk guitar playing throughout.Read more ›
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