Sonic experimenter Beck, born Bek David Campbell on July 8, 1970, has built a truly impressive body of work. Each album in its innovative and individualistic catalog has gone to places where the previous one was not, from early independent efforts to Soft gold breakthrough until 2019 Hyperspace.
This is before taking into account the countless collaborations, guest appearances and the 2012 sheet music book, Song player, in which he brilliantly encouraged the creativity of musicians around the world to perform his compositions however they see fit.
From a joke to a singular career
From the moment his sonic exploration became spectacular, Beck has been the underdog with his finger almost infallibly on the pulse of the tip. When it happened with his groundbreaking song “Loser”, no one was more skeptical than the artist himself. “At first I thought it was a joke,” he said. Option revised in 1994.
“So I ignored him for a while. But when the commercial stations started playing it and the thing started to hit the charts, I thought it had to be for real. It was so creepy. I spent about seven months trying to decide if I wanted to have some of it or if I should just ignore it.
Fortunately, he didn’t ignore it and instead built one of the most distinguished workbooks in modern music. In the wake of the triple Grammy success of Morning phase, Beck teased his next project with the singles “Wow” and “Dreams”, as well as the appearance of “Up All Night” in the FIFA 2017 video game.
He was also in a fascinating form of collaboration with his great admirer Lady Gaga, to “Dancing in circles” from her Jeanne album, before unveiling Colors in October 2017. After touring to support this and an early 2019 pairing with Cage The Elephant, Beck unveiled the characteristically inventive “Saw Lightning”, for which he teamed up with Pharrell Williams.
“A daring new era”
“You could go so far as to describe him as Beck at his best,” NPR wrote, “with a lot of slide guitar and harmonica topped with a bit of NERD rap-rock.” It whetted the appetite for Beck’s promised next album even more. Hyperspace, released in November 2019. “The superstar singer-songwriter enters a daring new era,” wrote NME of this set. The Fork Critics noted that Beck “roams a pleasant, gently psychedelic landscape in search of something new.”
Listen to the best of Beck on Apple Music and Spotify.