Beck, ‘Wow’ | Track Review
Beck makes a dramatic departure from his sound on ‘Morning Phase’ with “Wow,” the second single from ‘Colors.’
Ah, a new Beck album is on the way. It’s been three years sense we’ve heard from the Scientologist hipster, who shocked the world by winning the Grammy for album of the year for Morning Phase. Why it was shocking was (1) because of the competition and (2) because it was generally a more subdued, conservative album from the alternative singer/songwriter. All indications suggest Colors (October 13) isn’t subdued. “Wow” is the second single from the album, following “Dreams.” Beck too his time preparing Colors for release, considering “Wow” was released in June 2016, more than a year ahead of the album.
“Wow” is starkly different from Morning Phase – STARKLY! This is a pro because it shows that Beck is willing to continue pushing the envelope as opposed to being ‘comfortable.’ Part of the reason why he was so cool in his heyday is because he was a trendsetter. While it’s tough to remain a trendsetter throughout your career, Beck definitely doesn’t sound like he’s middle-aged on “Wow.” The sound is the big positive. Clearly, Beck was influenced by hip-hop and the urban palette of sounds. This is fresh, forward-thinking, and appealing to the ear.
As far as the cons, they’re minimal. The sound won’t be for everybody. Some may prefer the quieter, more acoustic-driven sound of Morning Phase to the edgy, hip-hop-electro sounds of “Wow.” Listening, does the audience enjoy the lyrics more or the music? The answer is the music. It’s ear-catching and mood-building. It’s not transcendent or particularly memorable lyrically.
All in all, Beck is the man – a boss and a G. Definitely the coolest, middle-aged hipster out there. Rivers Cuomo might have something to say about that. Still, he shows he’s still got musical tricks up his sleeves on the wowing “Wow.”