Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MELLOW GOLD



I just realized that this album is almost fifteen years old. It holds up incredibly well for something the same age as a petulant driver's ed student with acne.

I remember listening to this in high school, back when having a cd player in your car was kind of an awesome novelty. I remember that the Beastie Boys were early adopters, and rightfully predicted that Beck would be huge. I remember that as catchy and excellent as the LOSER single was, there were plenty of other damn good songs that we would routinely rock. I had never quite heard anything like SOUL-SUCKING JERK, BEERCAN is still one of my favorite dance songs, and the folk-rock styles of PAY NO MIND and NIGHTMARE HIPPY GIRL were both comfortably familiar and also weirdly new.

I immediately bought anything else I could find by Beck; at the time there was the totally folky ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, the noisy and bizarre STEREOPATHETIC SOUL MANURE, and if you were lucky, maybe you could track down a thrice dubbed cassette of MTV MAKES ME WANT TO SMOKE CRACK. All good stuff. I know it's not the case, but it really seemed like Beck sprung fully formed as a musician from Zeus' head. It was exciting to find someone so wholly awesome right out of the gate.

Soon thereafter came ODELAY, an album which was just so great that I have a perfectly clear memory of the first time I heard it, like it happened yesterday. Since then, I have tracked down whatever Beck I can find (b-sides, Japanese imports, remixes, you name it) and I have yet to be disappointed. But in all that time, I never really revisited MELLOW GOLD.

Well, fifteen years later, I popped the old headphones on and listened to it straight through. It still rules.

1 comment:

Dan said...

The only Beck albums I ever got into were Odelay and Sea Change. I never went for his dance-y stuff. But I haven't heard Mellowgold, either. Maybe I should check it out.