At the onset of 2015, Beck beat out Beyoncé’s self-titled record for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards, as well as taking home Best Engineered Album and Best Rock Record. The award winning record, Morning Phase, was a somber, folk project that put me to sleep almost as fast as the new The War on Drugs record, but nonetheless cemented his now ten album career as “one of the greats.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Beck’s work, especially the six-record-run of Odeley, Midnight Vultures, Sea Change, Guero, The Information, and Modern Guilt, but changing your genre for almost every release does have its ups and downs. Teaming with Greg Kurstin, writer and producer for Adele, The Shins, Kelly Clarkson, Sia, Teagan and Sara, and countless others, Colors sounds as much a product of Kurstin as it does of Beck, making it crystal clear as to why the folk-rock weirdo-hero would choose Kurstin for his first overtly radio-pop record.
It is funny to mention, however, the difference in surprise between some other artist going from dreary folk to eletro-pop versus Beck, who makes the complete 180° almost predictably. What move other than falsetto bubblegum pop would we expect from the shapeshifting genre champion? The only problem with such a back-flip of a move however, is that Colors, a record built entirely for fun, primarily lacks its namesake, with most songs feeling full of Kurstin’s efforts with Teagan and Sara more than it does any quality Beck-ism’s. It’s a great record to buy denim jeans to at the mall, but there isn’t really enough substance to turn this radio-pop record into anything more.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.