Sunday 15 December 2019

Listen again to - Beck, Odelay

Beck Odelay
Beck Odelay

Richir McCormack

Listening to it now, it's funny to think that without Van Morrison, one of the most influential albums of the 90's might actually sound markedly different.

Odelay bursts out of the blocks with 'Devil's Haircut', a track that samples a Them break, while one of it's gentler moments - 'Jackass' - is built around Them's cover of 'It's All Over Now Baby Blue'.

That each of these elements now just sound like Beck's own are testament to Odelay's influence and durability.

18 years on from its release, it still sounds like it was made yesterday, with a breadth of vision actually more in step with the current border-less musical landscape.

'Novacane' is hip hop-fed noise-rock, 'Readymade' is stoner rock as produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry, and there's the weary country strum of 'Ramshackle'.

Throw in the two turntables and a microphone of 'Where It's At' and you have a bonafide classic. Beck could turn his hand to anything and, as the years have proved, and not only make it work, but make it his own.

First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent

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