by Conner Tighe
Three years after his 12th album Morning Phase, Beck returns with his 13th album. Colors was released on Friday the 13th, but it turned out 13 may be a lucky number for Beck. His new album provides a nice balance between alternative and pop, and compared to many of his previous albums, this one is more upbeat. Despite the album’s release date, it has been well received so far, and in terms of quality it is definitely worth the money and the time of day.
That familiar tune…or is it?
This album stands out from Beck’s previous releases because his music seems to be progressing toward pop and dance. Colors steps away from the rock feel that most of his previous albums have shared. His 2002 album Sea Change featured songs like “End of the Day”, “It’s All in Your Mind” and “Little One”. All of those songs were much slower and had a much more mellow feel to them compared to Colors.
It was a well-done and smart play on Beck’s part to step away from what he normally does. Of course, these songs deal with mainly guitar and bass. It wouldn’t be Beck without these two instruments. The bass is incredible throughout his new music, and it makes you want to tap along to the rhythm. There is also a feel of oldies to the music. The way the guitar is strummed at times can make you reminisce about 60s music. This isn’t true of every track since they sound different from each other, but the pop feel is present throughout the entire album.
The colors look different this time
In most albums, the artist will shift the mood of the music by transferring from slow to fast or vice versa. This is not the case with this album. Colors is a good example of how music has changed since the 90s. It also shows how far Beck has come since his first album, Golden Feelings. Although the album is upbeat in a way, it still provides that “dark side” of music that we all know from Beck. But even compared to his previous album Morning Phase, songs like “No Distraction” and “Dreams” from Colors feature a more upbeat vibe to them.
The overall themes
Beck touches base with several different factors of life throughout this album. For example, “No Distraction” talks about how technology has overrun society and its ways of communicating. The line “pull you to the left, pull you to the right, pulling you in all directions,” proves this. Fans that have grown up with Beck can relate to this because they have experienced the changing of communication due to technology.
There is another major theme in this album, and that is the inevitability of death. “Dear Life” talks about the “end of the road” so to speak with our lives. It’s important to get everything we can out of life. The idea of being alive and experiencing life is the overall meaning of this album. His previous albums focused on the idea of love and losing somebody we love. It’s hard to understand everything Beck is trying to convey on Colors, but that’s because it’s one of his more complicated albums and has several different meanings.
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Featured image from We Plug Good Music
Ryan is a Music Media Production major who wrote the first ever Byte music review and has been involved with nearly every other section at some point. He is also an event planner at Village Green Records and the primary booking coordinator for the store’s outdoor concerts.
Considering all the album has to offer, 'Colors' is a must-buy even if you’re new to Beck. Those who are fans of modern bass with a touch of The Beatles will probably love this album. The music is dark, but has a truth behind it about reality and today’s society. Beck’s newest album is the perfect piece to bring to a local party or hangout with friends. He obviously tried something new with 'Colors' and it turns out to be excellent in showing a different side to Beck than the one we all know.