After three years of anticipation, the weirdo of the music industry, Beck, released his newest studio album, entitled Colors. For Beck's 13th album, he goes for a more upbeat sound than 2014's Morning Phase, with popular elements from the 70s, 80s, and today. Let's take a track by track journey and see if Colors is worth the long wait.
The opener and title track shows off a pretty straightforward groove and structure, introducing the sounds that will make up the entire album. While high energy, I didn't really find this song to be too interesting, although the flute lick in the middle is great.
2. "Seventh Heaven"
Beck takes on 80s rock in this track, and does a really good job. This is definitely a song that could've easily been done by The Smiths or The Hooters. Good for you, Beck!
3. "I'm So Free"
My favorite track of the album! Beck takes all of these time period elements and not only blends them well, but blends them into a TRUE BECK SONG. If you're not a Beck fan, then you don't know what I mean, but if you are, listen to this song, and prepare to have your mind blown.
4. "Dear Life"
I don't know how Beck managed to pull off a Beatles inspired piano sound with a grunge inspired guitar, but he did. The lyrics and melody are pretty good too. Hardcore Beck fans will appreciate this song a lot.
5. "No Distraction"
I got a little bit of a "dad vibe" as I listened to this track, probably because it sounds like a 70s and 80s crossover song. The guitar and melody are very 70s, and the beat and synths are very 80s. The song builds quite well throughout, and these two time periods compliment rather than compete.
6. "Dreams - Colors Mix"
Here we have a super upbeat 70s rock jam with GREAT lead guitar. The only problem; this version is not good. Listen to the single version at the end of the album, as this one is just too short, and has the most awkward censor ever. "Stop f**king with my dreams" is overdubbed with "Stop dragging down my dreams," which is okay, but whoever engineered the song poorly edited the cut. If you absolutely HAVE to censor something, please make it a smooth edit.
Beck actually spent his teenage years (the 80s) as a huge part of the hip hop community, and that shows in this song. The wind instruments provide a sense of eeriness and suspense, but as the track plays out, it's a chill out tune that'll make you say, "Wow."
8. "Up All Night"
Beck then hits us with ANOTHER hip hop track, but this time, combines it with the 70s style guitar we heard in "Dreams" and elements of modern pop a la The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face." He raps a verse as well. I honestly like this track better than "Wow."
9. "Square One"
The album is starting to wind down, but the upbeat 80s jams keep coming. "Square One" is very reminiscent of 80s staples like Cars and the Fixx. There's nothing super unique going on; it's just a good song.
10. "Fix me"
It's an 80s ballad, but it honestly is just alright. A decent way to (technically) close out the album. I wouldn't say it's a bad song by any means, but 80s ballads are just not my thing. One positive, you get a little bit of a "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton vibe at the end.
This track is just the original five minute version of "Dreams," free of censors. Beck released this song as a single years ago, so it made sense just to tack it on at the end of the album. As I expected, I like this original version more than the Colors Mix.
Overall, Colors is a solid album by Beck. While it doesn't reach the epic-ness of Mellow Gold, Odelay, Sea Change, and Morning Phase, there are some songs here that will become Beck staples for years to come. This album also proves once and for all that it doesn't matter the genre; Beck always delivers.