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Modern Guilt

129 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 8, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Modern Guilt is the tenth studio album by musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Beck. Modern Guilt features two contributions by Cat Power and co-produced by Danger Mouse. The hit track 'Chemtrails' is a genre-bending tour de force that showcases Beck and producer Danger Mouse's shared affection for late '60s Psych-Pop. The album releases on July 8, 2008, his 38th birthday.

In the last few years, Beck has freely sailed the seas of electronic and alternative music, but he is now back on land with Modern Guilt, an album that gravitates mostly toward electronic music and that, unfortunately, only has a couple of songs that really stand out ("Modern Guilt," "Orphans"). The problem has nothing to do with the fact that this CD is more electronic than acoustic. The sound is poor, and it sounds as if Beck were actually singing out of a barrel. Also, the beat doesn’t change from one song to the next, and if you don’t listen carefully to each song, you could not tell when tracks change. Despite Beck being one of the most creative and versatile musicians in recent years, the songs of this album have no depth. Let’s just hope that Beck surprises with his next. --Ernesto Sánchez (People en Español People en Español)

En los últimos años, Beck ha navegado libremente por las aguas de las música electrónica y la alternativa, ahora está regreso al mundo de la música con Modern Guilt, un disco que se inclina más hacia la música electrónica y que desgraciadamente sólo tiene un par de canciones que se destacan como "Modern Guilt" y "Orphans." Y el problema no tiene nada que ver con el hecho de que sea un disco más electrónico que acústico, el sonido del disco es muy pobre, pareciera que Beck está cantando dentro de una cubeta, y el beat no parece cambiar de una canción a la otra. Si no se pone extrema atención a cada canción no se dará cuenta del momento en que cambian los tracks. Si bien Beck es uno de los músicos más creativos y versátiles de los últimos años hay que decir que este es un disco en el que los temas carecen de profundidad. Esperemos que Beck realmente nos sorprenda con su siguiente producción. --Ernesto Sánchez (People en Español People en Español)

1. Orphans
2. Gamma Ray
3. Chemtrails
4. Modern Guilt
5. Youthless
6. Walls
7. Replica
8. Soul of A Man
9. Profanity Prayers
10. Volcano

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 8, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: DGC Records
  • ASIN: B0019GAOI2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,075 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Brandon J. Smith VINE VOICE on July 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Beck has done something that very, very few artists have ever been able to do: He's transitioned from young phenom genius innovator to established professional, without sacrificing artistically or compromising his craft. In my opinion, Beck has two masterpieces. First was Odelay. It built off the out-of-nowhere, wonderful Mellow Gold to hone his skills into something really amazing. Second was Sea Change. This was a high-water mark in Beck's brilliance in melding lyrics, melody, and soundscape. I never thought Beck could top Mellow Gold and Odelay, but Sea Change became my favorite Beck album and remains so to this day.

Since then, he's released some very interesting albums. The Information, in particular, has grown on me, revealing more and more as time goes on. It's a great album to revisit, sprawling as it may be.

Summer of 2008 sees the release of Modern Guilt, and, like Guero and The Information, it's got all you'd expect from Beck: cool beats, interesting lyrics, marble-mouthed singing, wide variations in rhythm, and immaculate production. Perhaps I could criticize it for not being as mind-blowing as Odelay and Sea Change, or for not being as totally zany as Midnight Vultures. But would it not be better to hear it for what it is and appreciate the way Beck has created his most focused album in years?

I love the way this simultaneously sounds like a Beck album, yet resists comparison with any one of his discs. It fits into Beck's catalog as another strong entry, another variation on the themes he's been exploring for years. Though it does not defy expectations, it certainly lives up to them.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By DaBrandoChipper on July 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
2008 has been a prolific year for releases from major artists (REM, Counting Crows, The Black Crowes, Colplay, Alanis Morrisette, Lil Wayne, etc etc). Most of these releases have been worthy of praise, but I have found a few flaws in all of them. Call me an idiot, but I cant find any flaws in Beck's new release, Modern Guilt, although I am sure some reviewers are itching to point some flaws out to me.

As Beck gets closer to 40, his songwriting has matured. He seems to use fewer samples than he used to. He still wears his influences on his sleeve, but his personality is all over the music. His collaboration with Danger Mouse worked well. The "beats" are paced well enough to make the entire album easy to enjoy in one listen, but you will want to listen again as soon as you're done.

Becks lyrics have always been quirky and obtuse, and this album is no exception. But this time the imagery seems thicker and more foreboding. The bodies drowning in the moody and ethereal "Chemtrails" are certainly morose and some may think Beck a bit paranoid, but he may be justified. The crunchy, guitar driven "Profanity Prayers" could be the highlight of the album and is my personal favorite. "Who's gonna answer profanity prayers" is quite a slap in the face of modern man. Our calls to a higher power have become nothing more than four letter words. Beck addresses a higher power at several points and he certainly makes more sense than the hair sprayed con men on TV.

Beck has proven here that middle age doesnt dull creativity. The songs Ive mentioned above along with the bass heavy "Orphans", "Gamma Ray" and "Youthless" easily rank along with some his best songs. (I know this sounds weird...but I can picture Austin Powers doing his "shag dance" to "Gamma Ray").
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dustin Perry on August 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Musical chameleon Beck released his latest album, "Modern Guilt," on his 38th birthday and the songs found therein display an artist far removed from the 23-year-old Los Angeles slacker who was telling us he was 'un perdedor' on "Mellow Gold," his 1994 breakthrough release. This disc finds Mr. Hansen truly exploring the heavy themes of death and personal reflection for the first time, and the results are nothing short of stellar. Middle age, it seems, has its benefits.

Beck tried this feat, the "serious record," two years ago on 2006's "The Information," but the message was pretty much lost to critics and fans, who thought the filtered-through-a-ColecoVision beats and lyrics about cellular phones were more post-apocalyptic and self-referential than anything else. He gets straight to the point this time around, with 10 concise tracks, a 34-minute runtime and not an ounce of leftover ideas to clutter the proceedings.

To the delight of fans the world over, Beck enlisted Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), the reigning critical darling of the music-production world, to man the boards on "Modern Guilt." They make an excellent team, what with their shared taste for `60s psychedelic rock, twitchy percussion and looped string samples -- not to mention their impeccable ear for catchy riffs. The surf-rock bass line that serves as the backbone for "Gamma Ray" makes it the closest approximation to a pop song Beck has written in years.

Perhaps tired of hearing that his last two records were trying too hard to be "Odelay 2.0," Beck has dialed back his use of left-field audio samples and bits of obscure and forgotten songs from decades past, choosing instead to interpret those influences and recreate them as fairly straightforward rock tunes.
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Cat Power on Modern Guilt?
I know that she is on "Orphans."
Or at least that's what it said on Sirius.
Jul 3, 2008 by A. Holt |  See all 10 posts
Should a true fan buy cd or mp3 without borrow cd from friend or library...
I'm a little obsessive about having legal copies, but here's what I do:

I'll check out a copy of a CD I'm interested in from the library, then burn it to my computer, mp3 player, etc. Our library system has checkouts for 3 or 4 weeks on CD's, so if during that time I've decided I'm going to... Read More
Sep 5, 2009 by D. Taylor |  See all 2 posts
Give it a few spins first...
I completely agree. I honestly didn't know how I felt about this album over the first five listens. I knew it was different-sounding than "Chemtrails," which is what I listened to twenty five times or so before the album came out and which was kind of a bummer, since I immediately... Read More
Jul 11, 2008 by K. L. Angioli |  See all 2 posts
Any bonus tracks on the import versions?
Don't know about UK but here in Japan, you can be sure there will be bonus tracks.
Jul 7, 2008 by WPL |  See all 2 posts
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