Sea Change
/universal; 2002/

rating : 5




more info :

day 1, 5.34 PM

'Lonesome tears/ I can't cry them any more/ I can't think of what they're for'

I don't expect anything from Beck today. We know he's a genius. But I wish he could just focus and write a fucking masterpiece. Seriously, since Odelay -and even Odelay has its low points- Beck's just been diluting his genius. Mutations had two good songs on it and Midnite Vultures was funny. He's got the ability but I don't expect anything from Sea Change. So far I've only listened to Lonesome Tears. And I don't feel like listening to the other tracks because I don't think they will be better than this one. It's beautiful and impressive. It makes me think of Air actually. I like Air, and I know they're talented, they can write great songs when they feel like doing it (I don't really like 10,000 Hz Legend myself, but, just listen to its impressive closer, Caramel Prisoner, and you'll get my point). This song tickles my curiosity. Could Beck have finally done it ? 

What has annoyed me the most with Beck was that he was trying too hard to be cool. Or to show how talented he was. The result was a total lack of sincerity and emotion. I mean, he has never really written songs about himself. I find most of his songs incredibly cold. Maybe his problem is that he has the talent but nothing personal to tell. I had never been moved by Beck before listening to Lonesome Tears. This is already a major achievement. 

I really don't feel like turning the "repeat" mode off. I know I'm going to be disappointed. Beck is associated with disappointment in my mind. I'll go to the movies and do it afterwards.

day 2, 6.11 PM

So I went to the movies, I saw Claire Denis' Vendredi Soir and Nuevas Reinas. I didn't get the film-critic degree, so the only comments I will make are that I was disappointed by the first and amused by the second. I went home after that and I think I watched TV. Can't remember what though.

I didn't listen to Sea Change today, I mean, before right now. I just got a copy of the Black Heart Procession's Amore del Tropico and I've listened to it six times in a row. It's not bad. I decide to start at the beginning and try to listen to The Golden Age. It's nice, discreet and humble. Nice arrangements, nothing complicated, a nice song, not as good as Lonesome Tears but good nevertheless. Paper Tiger starts like a typical unsurprising Beck song. Mutations was filled with songs like this. I find it tasteless, despite the nice strings during the chorus. Next song : Guess I'm Doing Fine. This may be too folk-y for me, but at least he's talking about himself. Makes me think of Aimee Mann, because of the stupid flawlessness. If you decide to record folk songs, record them live on a shitty 4-tracks recorder and don't add anything. Listen to Elliott Smith's first albums. Too shiny, too mainstream-sounding for me. I skip Lonesome Tears. Lost Cause starts nicely, it shares the same defects as Guess I'm Doing Fine, but it is better. The result of its superiority is an even more perfect adult-rock sound. Perfectly cold. A few keyboard notes during the chorus save Nothing I Haven't Seen. The other songs are pleasing not ground-breaking, with the exception of the glorious Sunday Sun. Little One is not bad too. As the nice, low-key closer Side of the Road ends I realize that my prediction was true and that my hopes will not be satisfied : Lonesome Tears was an exception. 

day 2, 7.07 PM : 

Beck almost did it. Even though he has finally started singing about himself, the result is incredibly cold. He's just done it again. But this time the process has backfired : unlike before, he sings about himself, he is being sincere and quite sad but this time it is the production that doesn't follow. Nigel Godrich succeeded one more time to turn every song into tasteless adult rock radio material. He should just stick to producing Travis records. The songs are either too naked or too well-dressed. Lonesome Tears and its evil twin Sunday Sun shine like black diamonds in this otherwise painfully colorless album. 


/oct. 1st 2002/