Review : Beck - One Foot In The Grave
RollingstoneBefore he was a midnight vulture or a guero preaching the gospel of Latin groove music, Beck was a subversive folkie, inspired equally by Sonic Youth and Mississippi John Hurt. He cut this 16-track set of acoustic folk and country-blues for the label K just before his 1994 breakthrough, Mellow Gold, and its crudely recorded ballads and occasional bursts of gnarly distortion are clear precursors to the beats-based folk-hop of "Loser." Two of its songs remain early Beck classics: the self-deprecating "Asshole" and the haunting "Hollow Log." This expanded reissue features 16 additional tracks: outtakes like the a cappella ballad "Sweet Satan" andan early recording of Sea Change's "It's All in Your Mind."...full text
SputnikmusicPeople with one name always seem to be more indulgent than normal two named people. Madonna�s gone from making controversial videos, to making porn books, riding on the coattails of the �98 electronica scene, writing children�s books, and whoring Kabbalah. Cher�s gotten so much plastic surgery, that she once substituted for Michael Jackson�s nose at the last minute for a sleepover birthday party. Morrissey� well, he�s pop culture�s drunk, and disgruntled aunt. Finally, there�s Beck, who isn�t as messed up as the people mentioned before, but his hipster gallivanting of genres has made him worthy of his one name stature. One Foot in the Grave is an early taste of Beck, but it�s still got that Beck wackiness we all know and love. Or hate. It all depends on one�s views of Scientologists.
Beck�s weapon of choice for this album is folk, a genre that he�s played with quite dominantly throughout his career. Though in his later works he casually mixes all sorts of genres on his breakthrough album Mellow Gold, on this final indie release, Beck keeps it fairly simple. Maybe not so much simple, as it is traditional, as Beck grew up listening to folk heroes like Woody Guthrie, and Leadbelly. With these influences pushed up front on the record, most of the songs are steadily paced, lead by Beck�s out-of-tune guitar. The lo-fi streak of production actually does these rickety tunes justice....full text
MusicomhThe prolific Beck Hansen had an extremely productive 1994, even by his own fertile standards: One Foot in The Grave was one of three albums he released that year, the other two being Stereopathic Soulmanure - an odd hotch-potch, to say the least - and the dirgey, snarling Mellow Gold, Odelay's spiritual predecessor.
This, however, was something else entirely. Recorded on a shoestring budget with K Records honcho, Calvin Johnson, One Foot In The Grave is a lo-fi landmark inspired by delta blues legend Skip James; a folk journey that rattles along gently like a box car full of maudlin yet melodic hobos.
Twanging into earshot with Skip's own He's A Mighty Good Leader, the whole affair is uncluttered and honest, offering no apologies for its impressively low grade construction. The result? The sincerest of all Beck's efforts - Sea Change included....full text
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