Beck, Modern Guilt
Official Release Date: July 8
The Verdict: On 2006's The Information Beck made happy-sounding music with Nigel Godrich, the producer responsible for Sea Change and Mutations, his two saddest albums (results were predictably mixed). On Modern Guilt, he drops ten of the darkest songs he's ever written over surf-rock and go-go beats, courtesy of Danger Mouse, and fares a lot better. You've probably heard "Orphans," "Gamma Ray," and "Chemtrails," and they're pretty much the most upbeat tracks here. Elsewhere, Beck sounds miserable, moaning (melodically, as always) about various crises (spiritual, midlife, existential, etc.), but all songwriting is sharp and the drums are, predictably, awesome. It sounds like a great album and very possibly the worst-ever ad for Scientology.