The Becklash Is About To Begin

beck.jpgA few months ago, Wired magazine ran a cover story on Beck that focused less on his songwriting and more on his music-distribution prowess. And damned if it didn’t draw some of the angriest reader mail we’ve seen. From the new issue’s “Rants + Raves” column:

Beck is the ultimate marketing tool. He puts on a guise of a hipster, artsy, creative, self-absorbed musician who wants his fans to truly inhale and exhale his music through every medium available. Beck gets fans to think they’re participating in the creative process through interactive media, but then he takes them and remixes and sells them as a separate album, like Guerolito


Guero may have “represented a new way to think about the album,” but I wouldn’t know; only half the tracks are available on the Rhapsody music service. If Beck is going to shut out those of us who now “lease” music through such services, he’s going to alienate a growing segment of consumers…”

And finally…

Beck dropped the ball with that “Debra” mash-up, because that song is awesome as it is, and speeding it up and throwing Pharrell in there was junior-DJ hackwork.

Okay, so that last one ours. The original interview is below, so we leave the floor open to you: Is Beck truly the new-medium savior that Wired would like us to believe, or just a particularly savvy marketer who wants the cool-guy cred?

“The Infinite Album” [Wired]

  • SlimShadenfruede

    First thing is, I can’t get by the fact that he’s a Scientologist. It broke my heart, As far as being a savior of new media? No.
    I gotta give props to Billy Idol who released an internet-only album, ‘Cyber Punk’ back in like ’95. The next dude who pushed it was Trent Reznor who released partial tracks to fans to make their own mix.

    No props to Beck for making a video for every song, It’s more bbeing an ‘artist’ crap.

    He does get props for the blank album art though. I would have included some puffy ones and scratch n’ sniff ones.

    Seriously, Scientology?

  • Ned Raggett

    I gotta give props to Billy Idol who released an internet-only album, ‘Cyber Punk’ back in like ’95.

    1993. And trust me, it *definitely* wasn’t Internet-only.

  • SlimShadenfruede

    Really? damn you shattered my image of Billy being a genius pioneer!

    Last thing, It’s safe to say that Beck is NOT bringing sexy back.

  • PengIn

    Rollins was on to Beck back in 2000. Then again, Rollins was in Jack Frost. Now I don’t know what to believe.

  • Chris Molanphy

    The Becklash will be equally as stupid as the backlash against Zach Braff and Garden State. The rule states that anything enjoyed overmuch by people over 35 must instantly become uncool. The new album is not a great Beck album but it’s a first-rate aural wallpaper album, which of course means it must be destroyed by the hipoisie.

    Beck’s only mistake was waiting only 18 months between albums, breaking his normal two-year cycle; it makes him more visible and gives bloggers and hipsters more to bitch about.

  • KurticusMaximus

    Meh, I just don’t like Beck’s music all that much.

    Trent Reznor releasing those songs was pretty cool, though. Reznor’s a pansy, but that was a cool move. Two thumbs up.

  • cerulgalactus

    I think we all know what Beck needs to add to the mix to get back into everyone’s good graces…


  • katie_a_princess

    Wired: Guero, with all its various versions and releases, seems to have heralded the end of the album as we know it.

    oh just shut up, Wired.

  • DisposableRob

    “The next dude who pushed it was Trent Reznor who released partial tracks to fans to make their own mix.”

    This reminds me about how the band Pitchshifter included free noise sample at the end of their albums.

    Anyway, rappers have been releasing vocal and beats only tracks of their albums for awhile. I’m not sure how far back this goes, but I remember some 7″ singles in the 80s would include a beat only B-side.