on June 30, 2003
Whoa, what a disc. This cd is just great all around. Every track is very, very unique, and several are remarkable. The hits (New Pollution, Devil's Haircut, Where It's At) are all good, but the real treasures are some of the lesser known songs on here. Hotwax is a weird, funk-inflected groove that will really catch your attention. Minus is a quick rocker that is also eye-widening, and Ramshackle is a long, bizarre ballad that is equally interesting. Beck's ingenuity was displayed on a minor scale before Odelay, and after this critically acclaimed award-winner, he's been a household name. Beck's fame is condign, and he is a good example of an artist that hasn't sold out. He sticks to what he does best. And that is writing outlandish songs that coalesce all genres into one fun, blurring album. Odelay could be an album for a party, for reading, for crying, for screaming, for laughing, you name it. It's so flexible and at the same time rigid enough to evoke passion and meaning each time you listen to it. I could go on and on about Beck and his masterful song-writing, but if you kept reading, it would detract from the most valuable time that would be better spent listening to the album. So do yourself a favor and pick this up if you don't have it. It will be a treat and a half.
on January 2, 2006
Odelay is one of those albums that leaves you smiling and thinking all at once. There are all kinds of genres crossed in this album. You'll hear funk, rap, bossa nova(he quotes Antonia Carlos Jobim briefly) and rock. The most interesting part of this album is not only the lesser known songs but that it still sounds fresh today almost ten years after it's release(June 18, 1996). There is something for everyone one this album which makes it a popular hit at parties. I'm new to Beck and Alternative Rock and I think I'll buy his Mellow Gold album next.
on June 3, 2003
Beck has to be one of the geniuses in music today. Who else could take so many different genres, stitch them together seemingly at random, and come up with a product that is so easy to listen to? Nothing that I've listened to (and I've listened to a lot of stuff) can make that claim like Beck can. "Odelay" is, in a word: awesome.
Let's take a look at the tracks on this disc. "Odelay" starts out with "Devils Haircut," a good indicator of what you can expect to hear on the rest of the CD: catchy drumbeats and hooks, noise which Beck's songs would almost seem naked without, and of course Beck's trademark lyrics. Next comes one of my favorite tracks, "Hotwax." This one mixes a laid-back beat with just enough feedback, retro keyboard hooks, and even a little accordion to keep things funky enough for the rhymes ("I get down, I get down, I get down all the way...") to seem right at home with. And ya just GOTTA love the ending! ("Who are you? I'm the enchanting Wizard of Rhythm.") "Lord Only Knows" starts out with a scream that hints at a rocker of a song, then abruptly shifts into a straightforward (for Beck) country-type tune that can very easily be "goin' back to Houston." "The New Pollution" is another one of the highlights here, with a groovy late '60s/early '70s vibe and a cool sax line thrown in for good measure. "Derelict" sounds like some Arabic song, which is vaguely seductive in nature. "Novacane" just plain rocks, with a serious truck-drivin', CB radio talkin' jam. "Jack-Ass" mellows thing out with a folky groove that seems to unravel (in a good way) at the end. Now we come to "Where It's At," one of THE songs of '96/'97 and one of the main reasons I got this CD in the first place. "Two turntables and a microphone" indeed. Funky, old-school rap with that great organ hook. "Minus" reminds me of something that Kurt Cobain (RIP) would come up with the music for. "Sissyneck" is a smooth country/blues-tinged tune with a great bassline. "Readymade" is perhaps best-described as "spacey," with enough "elevator music"/organ to keep it somewhat grounded. "High 5 (Rock The Catskills) is another rocker, sounding almost like something Kid Rock would do (check out the reference to "Novacane" in the middle of this one.) And last but not least, "Ramshackle" smoothes everything out with a very mellow, very folky sound. Keep listening after the end of this song for a little noise surprise.
Well, that's it. What else can I say about "Odelay," other than if you have yet to obtain a copy, do so!
on September 29, 1999
I really have not been a Beck fan for very long. The first Beck album I bought was "Odelay", which was about a year ago. The only reason I bought it at the time was because "Where It's At" and "Devil's Haircut" were on it. But after I listened to the entire CD, I could not keep it out of my stereo. I heard what is now my favorite Beck song to date, "Hotwax". I thought that this was a fluke, I mean how many songwriters can have an album with all awesome songs? To test my theory, I went out and bought "Mutations". Once again, Beck outdid himself, with great numbers, like "Lazy Flies", "Cold Brains", "We Live Again" and "O Maria". All right, he's good, but nobody's perfect. The very next day, I bought "Mellow Gold" which, of course, had "Loser". Every song, completely addictive, especially "Snoozer", "Beercan", "Nitemare Hippy Girl" and "Soul Suckin' Jerk." "Odelay" got me rolling on the Beck Bandwagon. I searched, and finally found "One Foot In The Grave" which ranks all the way up with his other awesome albums. I am in the process of receiving "Stereopathetic Soul Manure" which I ordered from amazon.com. I am also anxiously awaiting the release of his newest album, "Midnite Vultures". Beck is one of the most original, raw and taleted artists of our time. He's so amazing because he doesn't just stick to one genre of music. I mean, he made country music sound HIP for Pete's sake. His lyrics cannot be turned into negative influences, because no one knows what to make of them. In a time of "gangsta" rap, telling kids to do drugs and shoot people, Beck gives music listeners what music listeners really want: good music, with none of the hassle. We're just able to sit back and listen to someone who's writing music for music's sake.
Signed, Beck's biggest fan
on March 5, 2003
When most people write about Beck they usually know exactly where to start - his diversity. Generally regarded as Beck's best experimental album before his latest, more serious record Sea Change, as well as a general classic of the 90's. And I don't mean experimental in an inaccessible way. Everything here is accessible to the average listener and gloriously bizarre and interesting. Odelay stands as a melting pot of different genres. From the edgy opening track Devil's Haircut to the soul of Hot Wax to country on Sissyneck and rap on Where It's At, Beck defies all attempts to pigeonhole him as anything but different.
Although the album is highly consistent, there are several stand-out tracks, though these will probably depend on your faovured genres of music. The New Pollution is too eclectic to be put into words, the gentle Jackass is brilliant - ending in a donkey's bray - and of course Devil's Haircut and Hot Wax are true classics. Sampling other songs Beck eschews a variety of pop culture references so that Odelay often seems like he's taking you on a journey of pop culture of the last few decades musically. The real credit though is that all of the songs here merge so well and Beck never comes across as being pretentious or arty. What he's produced here is amazingly original and something that no artist, not even him, has really been able to rival. It showcases Beck's diversity better than the previous Mellow Gold or the later Mutations and occassionally misguided but still fantastic Midnite Vultures. With Beck set to take a more serious note - his lyrics here are often indecipherable or just plain silly - given his last album Sea Change, it's well worth taking a chance to listen to his other masterpiece. Indeed, when seen alongside the intelligent lyrics and mastery shown on Sea Change, Beck's diversity on Odelay seems even more impressive. This is an artist that feels free to flow free with his musical moods, sometimes even within the same songs, and Odelay is Beck at his pinnacle.
on June 19, 2012
In 1996, Beck Hansen released one of his biggest, and well known albums of his career Odelay. With such a short discography at the time of this release, it is very suprising how he released such a high quality album at that point. What is great about this album, as well as many other albums released by Beck is how it how it vibes so well, even with all of the different mood changes. Also a major plus is that this album journeys into different genres like with blues, funk, alt-rock, and hip hop. But no matter what Beck stays true to his style of music throughout his career, and it shows here on this album.
I won't go into how great of this album is, as anyone can see from all the great reviews for this album here. Major standouts on this album starts from the beginning with "Devil's Haircut" to the well known "Where Its At?" where Beck has his saying "I got two turntables and a microphone...". Another great song on the album is "Novacane" as well as "Jack @ss". The latter song has a cool mellow kind of vibe that Beck's voice matches.
Overall Odelay is a fantastic album that is great to enjoy. If you are new to Beck, I recommend you start with this one because this album is one of his best (as opposed to his depressing feelings style on his later albums), especially those who like artists who are as versitle as Beck was on this album. The album is very lively and theres hardly any dull moment here, and it is sure to keep your interest all throughout here. Peace.
Guest Appearances: N/A
Musical Vibes: A+
Top 5 Tracks:
1. Where It's At?
3. Devils Haircut
on April 24, 2013
Sometimes I feel like I suffer from an odd affliction when it comes to music. Probably it's going to sound pompous, or pretentious, and I admit I could be completely deluded and wrong. But my opinion is still my opinion, and no one has to agree with me. My girlfriend likes Radiohead, which I find incomprehensible, so there you go: opinions differ.
The affliction I (imagine) I suffer from is having heard too much good music too early. And my other affliction is being belligerently opposed to following lemmings over a cliff without an actual compelling cause (like an actual tsunami at my back).
I resisted things like Nirvana and Seinfeld until I could no longer ignore that that stuff was good. (And you don't have to agree with that, either.)
But I live in LA, and I know how the hype machine works: a) It preys on the weak-minded and socially addicted, who are desperate to be defined through a clique. b) It preys on the undereducated, who lack proper context and reference (i.e., better art for comparative purposes).
To parse that in today's terms: If you only know the works of Jessica Simpson, you may just be blown away by the works of Justin Bieber. Especially if the girls whose lunch table you want to sit at like Justin Bieber too. It's not your fault; everyone doesn't have to know "art," because there's more to life than art.
Anyway, obviously Beck is no Bieber: he's an artist of some merit. And I wanted to get excited about Odelay.
But the amateurish, cut-and-paste noodling, randomized, weightless lyrics and lack of melodic movement could be so many albums from the late-1980s-to-mid-90s; the only thing that makes this stand out is the hyped "Beck" name, which all cool people are obligated to like. (Much like Radiohead.)
How could I compare this to an actual masterpiece, such as Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson (which this borrows sounds from), Elvis Costello's Trust or even a contemporaneous work like Ween's Chocolate and Cheese, which is so much more melodically gifted, skilled, varied, and revolutionary?
This is a fun, quirky album.
But the super-hyped greatness, and its attendant parts (melody, message, craftsmanship): they simply aren't here.
on March 30, 2005
"Odelay" is the album that established Beck as a superstar, and for good reason. It's an adventurous, yet insanely catchy melange of genres loaded with pop hooks and samples galore.
From the trigger-fuzz blues/rock/pop of "Devil's Haircut" to the resigning, affecting folk of "Ramshackle", and everything in between..you never know what will pop out next.
"Novacane" goes from Texas to New York in its course, seemlessly blending bluesey passages with hyper white noise and computer blips. "The New Pollution" has this turbelent, 1950's black & white pop feel, with commercial-esque interludes and stylish, jazzy saxophone samples.
In terms of sampling, "High 5" puts everything else to shame; the dancefloor/raucous hip-hop number even samples a previous track from the album. How wacky is that? "Where It's At" is also a massive collage, and surely one of the most unlikely pop hits in recent years.
Other highlights include the heartbreaking folk of "Jackass", the sugar rush indie-rock of "Minus", and the infectious twang-covered pop of "Sissyneck".
In theory, the album is a total mess. But Beck's knack for crafting clever, catchy pop songs makes this cut and paste job stick together and work a good 95% of the time.
on February 16, 2001
Devil's Haircut: Great in all its simplicity. That guitar riff can grow in your mind easily. Plus I love the line 'Mouthwash jukebox gasoline.'
Hotwax: A nice little rap tune, despite being inferior to Mellow Gold's "Loser."
Lord Only Knows: Country rock, Beck-ified.
The New Pollution: Takes the bass line from the Beatle's "Taxman" and puts in into a different, funkier atmosphere.
Derelict: Asian influence, especially in the middle of the tune.
Novacane: Hard-rock-rap, before the likes of Limp Bizkit (ugh).
Jackass: Mellow country, but goes on too long.
Where It's At: Beck's greatest song ever, as he brilliantly fuses a psychedelic guitar line with hip-hop backing, and a great "2 turn-tables and a microphone" breakdown section.
Minus: OK hard-rocking track.
Sissyneck & Readymade: Each great tunes in their own way, hard to describe either.
High 5: This time Beck goes completely gangsta, and it doesn't always work in this song.
Ramshackle: The quietest tune on here, would have fit on Mellow Gold.
I was only 12 years old when Odelay came out in 1996. But when I heard it, I thought it was the coolest things ever. Beck can just switch from folkster to wanna-be rapper to soulster like switching on a light. People getting started with Beck should start with this album. It sags a little on Side 2, but the likes of "Devils Haircut" and "Where It's At" make up for it and how.
on December 28, 2015
I purchased this vinyl for my husband for Christmas. Shipping was super fast on this item, which made me very happy! I think I got it as fast as any Prime-qualified item I ordered the same day! I loved the little note that they wrote on the back (on a slip of paper) that said they also had two other Beck vinyls in stock, which I thought was a great touch. I will say --- when we went to play the vinyl, it seemed like it was a tiny bit warped --- but it could also be our player. That being said --- I will not be returning the item, because it's fantastic as is. Great vendor, great buy. Happy customer!