With horns blaring over funky rhythms that recall early Prince or even George Clinton, Beck's latest incarnation as a soul brother is one of his most bizarre.
The kingbee of junk culture has graduated from the hip-hop folk of Odelay and the cowboys-on-acid splendor of last year's Mutations to venture into some decidedly foreign terrain. Sometimes he makes it work, like on the rapid-fire single “Sexx Laws”, the explosive “Milk & Honey,” or the guitar-bending, very Prince-like “Peaches and Cream.”
But you've still got to buy into the basic premise of Beck as the funk-master to get through this, and that's not always easy. Songs like “Hollywood Freaks” and the sisterly sexscapade “Debra” are as crafty as they are contrived. And while the pastiche is colorful, the real heart and real soul at times seem missing.