Everyone has been stating that Beck’s newest album Colors is a very “pop” album – and everyone who listens to it can tell that it is. It’s full of up-tempo songs, highly produced and sleek sounding recordings, heavy use of a digital drum pad alongside live drums, and party/good time centered lyrics. This is definitely a 180 from Beck’s previous album, Morning Phase, but Colors still has a few connections to it.
“Dear Life,” has the high production and sleek pop sounds of the rest of the album, but pays homage to Morning Phase with some slightly melancholy lyrics, like the chorus “Dear life, I’m holding on,” and “how long must I wait before the feeling’s gone?” But the fast tempo keeps this one from getting too serious too early, and shows the artistry of Beck quite nicely, displaying how he can balance the meaning behind his lyrics with music that can masquerade it and make the listeners have to really listen and think about it.
“Dreams” gives listeners a more funky song that could have easily been a deep cut from Midnight Vultures, due to it’s lyrics and overall disco/funk vibe, but the overall production and recording of this album keeps it in 2017.
The album is nearly all upbeat, very dance-able, radio-friendly songs until we get to “Fix Me,” the first and only ballad of the album at the end. It’s a great way to end this dance party of an album, and gives listeners that come down before the album ends and reality kicks back in for them.
For longtime fans of Beck who appreciate how he has always been able to have his unique “weirdness” to every album and song he’s made, this album provides a few good tracks that definitely pull from different sounds throughout his career, but from start to end there’s going to be some you’ll skip that are simply lacking in that signature beck weirdness. As for newer listeners and fans of modern rock/pop like Foster the People, this album might become your favorite Beck album to date.
The main critique with this album is that Beck wrote this album too well to be a pop album and in doing so seemed to have lost his unique and signature sounds along the way. He doesn’t lose it completely, since “Wow,” and “Dear Life” have that special alternative “twang” Beck has, but on tracks like “Up All Night With You,” and “Colors,” there isn’t any special sound or lyrics that would give it that twist Beck is known for – they just sound like pop songs Justin Timberlake or any other pop group could have made.
Granted, these aren’t bad or poorly written songs, they just lack that core style that makes Beck who he is.