Beck Hansen's finest year was unquestionably 1994, when Los Angeles' most talented high school dropout served up three great records -- an indie-folk trawl (One Foot in the Grave); the multigenre, major-label mash-up that made his name (Mellow Gold); and a whacked, lo-fi sampler of just about every style of music known to man at the time (Stereopathetic Soulmanure). Hansen's output since, while displaying his talent, has been short on full-blown junk-dealer confection. A more wizened update of his Dr. Frankenstein-on-Mars modus operandi, Guero slays effortlessly. "Que Onda Guero" bucks like a ride home from the strawberry fields in the back of a Sanford and Son pickup full of hombres cracking wise and flinging catcalls while bizarre R2D2 ring tones whir from the bodegas they pass. "Hell Yes!" resembles a robotic "Soul Suckin' Jerk," but instead of bashing deadbeat bosses, Hansen big-ups his skills, while Christina Ricci purrs multilingual fluff, and harmonicas face off against DJ scratches. Packing more verve and personality into a single track than Sea Change's weepy entirety, Guero almost makes it possible to forgive Hansen for that improbably lauded 2002 snore. Almost.
Recommended For YouPowered by SailThru
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!