Beck To Bystanders: “Psych!”

Beck-100x100.jpgARTIST: Beck
TITLE: “Orphans”/”Gamma Ray”
WEB DEBUT: June 24, 2008

ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: The run-up to Beck’s Danger Mouse-produced Modern Guilt, which comes out next month, continues with a pair of songs that double as signals that the enigmatic singer is reaching back into the archives of pop psychedelia for his inspiration this time out. “Orphans” is sort of the get-up-and-go-ish brother to the sleepy, drony “Chemtrails”; its brisk backbeat, floating vocal harmonies, barely tapped xylophone and strummed guitar bits sound tailor-made for lazy Sundays and Elephant 6-themed Muxtapes. But “Gamma Ray” is pretty fantastic; it’s a chugging little number with a taut rhythm section, hazy backing vocals and guitars that were beamed in from that part of space the Ventures visited way back when.


  • Cheap Shot

    Too bad “Chemtrails” is a complete riip[ off of an Aphrodite’s Child song “The four horseman”:

  • natepatrin

    @Cheap Shot: Not a complete ripoff — for one thing, I can listen to the vocals in the Beck song without cringing.

  • Cheap Shot

    @natepatrin: haha, I agree!

  • loudersoft

    There’s a definite Donovan/Cat Stevens/Gordon Lightfoot thing going on with “Orphans”. And I agree about the Aphrodite’s Child ripoff.

  • thearcanemodel

    i like! and agree that “gamma ray” is the best of the bunch.
    @Cheap Shot:
    i was still getting a caribou vibe from “chemtrails”, but see your point about this aphrodite’s child song. also, that rat with webbed feet or whatever REALLY creeps me out.

  • cheesebubble

    Gamma Ray trumps the other two but even it fails to really impress. I hope there are some better selections on the album.

  • BakerStreetSaxSolo

    Caribou is a good call actually, this record sounds to me like an Andorra/In Rainbows hybrid, but with an extra focus on rhythm that’s often startling (the rattling insect-in-a-jar in Volcano) There are better songs than Gamma Ray – Walls, Volcano, Chemtrails, Replica – but some not so good ones too. Whole record is only 33 minutes though, about half the length of The Information, and about 10 minutes (or 3 songs) too short ideally.