James B. (wandersoul73) from LANCASTER, TX Reviewed on 7/22/2008...
The first time I'd heard "Loser", I knew that Becks' - Mellow Gold, was on my -next cd to purchase- list. And when I finally got it, well, it stayed in my player for weeks... He has crafted a magical work here, indeed!
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Drew V. from POWNAL, ME Reviewed on 6/20/2007...
This is the BMG-manufactured release
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Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 03/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy artists like Beck. When he created this CD he clearly didn't care what was popular and what would sell. Instead, he did his own, often quirky, sometimes amusing, and nearly always enjoyable, thing. The range of styles is interesting. On this CD are elements of thrash ("Sweet Sunshine"), blues ("Whiskeyclone, Hotel City 1997" and "Pay no Mind", where he also sounds a bit like Dylan), progressive ("Blackhole"), and grunge ("Loser"). There are even hints of pop, hillbilly and folk. Beck chooses elements that fit his concept for a particular song and I suspect he cares little whether a particular listener likes or doesn't like a particular song.I can see how some listeners might not like this CD. The styles are too broad for people with a narrow range of tastes, or for those whose definition of cutting edge music is limited to one genre. Beck has a relatively mellow style on this CD, as the title suggests, that might also put some listeners off. However, while the overall style is mellow, there are enough changeups in pace that this CD held my interest from beginning to end.The lyrics owe more to blues than to pop or rock. Beck nearly always seems to want to tell a story or make a point. That doesn't mean the lyrics are sung in a blues style, only that Beck likes to have a purpose to his lyrics, which is a characteristic of blues. The only objection I have to the lyrics is personal, in that the CD I have is the explicit lyrics version, and I really didn't need the four-letter words to enjoy the music.The music itself is wonderfully bizarre. The range and combination of instruments I can barely begin to guess at because Beck combines electronic effects with various combinations of instruments and frequently bizarre vocal effects to create a complex mix of sound that challenges my ability to decipher. Beck combines this mixture with the previously mentioned combination of styles to synthesize quirky, yet interesting sounds. For an example of what I'm talking about, listen to "Truckdrivin' Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)". The principal instrument in this song is an acoustic guitar, but the vocals range from a falsetto to a bass in a bizarre combination. This last song might have been something that Frank Zappa might have sung, though without the four-letter words.Perhaps the best-known song on this CD is "Loser", which received a fair amount of video airplay on MTV and VH1. The video was every bit as experimental as the remainder of the CD is musically. With elements of grunge and no real plot or theme, the video is impressionistic, and has more of a theme than a story. However, given the range of music on this CD, do not judge the CD by "Loser", because it is the only song like it on the CD."Steal My Body Home" sounds like psychedelic rock. Cool song, very slow, interesting electronic effects. Turn on the black lights! I had to mention this song because I like its combination of retro-psychedelic sound with grunge and other elements. The next song is "Nightmare Hippy Girl", which seems to fit with the psychedelic song just previous, but the styling of "Nightmare Hippy Girl" is more folk-rock than psychedelic rock. Yet, it fits.My favorite song is "Blackhole". The progressive elements have tinges of The Moody Blues from the time of "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" and "Seventh Sojourn", but of course Beck has made this in a style all his own. At about five and a half minutes into the song, the music stops, and when it restarts it is no longer music, it is a bizarre combination of sound effects a la King Crimson, but sped up and with a greater range. It sounds weird, but interesting.This CD is so weird that it may be inaccessible to some listeners. However, it is exactly this wonderfully strange and weird music that drew me to progressive music in the first place. Beck is a music artist, experimenting to create the unusual. He certainly does that here. I recommend this CD to those who like music as art, particular for those who like mellow progressive rock."
S. R Robertson | Oh Henry? | 04/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An early member of the straight-to-tape lo-fi marathon that is artists like Guided By Voices & Ween, Beck established his own style in addition to being quirky & reminiscent of those artists. Beck is sort of like a story-telling enigma, Bob Dylan to the next level, you might say. His songs can either be ironic & narrative or slapstick & bizzare. This is definitely evident in "Mellow Gold", which, in my opinion, is better and more artistic than "Odelay". A mixture of Dylanesque folk("Pay No Mind", "Whiskeyclone Hotel City, 1997", "Truckdriving Neighbors Downstairs", "Blackhole"), ambient psychadelic explorations("Steal My Body Home"), quirky hip-hop("Loser", "Soul Sucking Jerk", "Beercan", "Sweet Sunshine"), and a small touch of rock("F****ing With My Head", "Mother****er"). If you are interested in getting into Beck, "Mellow Gold" is the place to start."
Blue Suede Schmooze | Victoria, B.C. | 12/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mellow Gold is the third best album of the '90s. As great as his post-Mellow Gold work is, Beck's first Geffen album really stands out. Back in 1994, this was a totally fresh sound, melding blues, punk, folk, and hip-hop into one strange, surreal package. Of course, now anybody with two turntables and amicrophone try to ape Beck's sound, but they never come close to what he achieved with Mellow Gold. Overshadowed by the tremendous hit "Loser", there is so much more to be savoured here. The songs are loose, rough around the edges, and damn funny to boot. The sense of sponteneity is really what sets this apart from Beck's other releases. I can honestly say that this album, more than any other, changed how I think about music, what I expect from music, and its brilliance really rendered most of what I had at the time obsolete."
Don't Listen to the Hype. Mellow Gold towers above Odelay
email@example.com | Kaneohe, HI | 08/16/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, "Odelay" was a well-produced album. But it didn't have the vitality and song-writing of "Mellow Gold". There aren't as many samples and bleeps and burps as "Odelay," but that was because Beck had written some great lyrics. He also wasn't afraid to inject some humor into what was then an angst-ridden music scene. Lines such as "Like a giant dildo crushing the sun" conjure up incredibly funny images in one's mind. Beck creates vivid images of people (Losers, hillbillies, hippies, teenagers) that will make you laugh and nod your head. And songs such as "Soul Suckin' Jerk" change completely midway through the song. This album is yet another piece of evidence that while production will help, it takes songwriting to create a truly great album."
Mellow Gold by Beck never seems to get stale
John Stephens | Guerneville, CA USA | 11/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While the musical styles on this album are diverse they share annoyingly catchy tunes, interesting arrangements and thought-provoking lyrics. Unlike some albums that fade with time, when I return to listen to Mellow Gold it always sounds fresh. On some tracks it feels like a trip to Lowlifesville and you will find yourself humming these tunes unable to explain to anyone why you like them. Beck is one eclectic artist who makes his diverse influences merge in a satisfyingly original sounding manner. Anyone who can write Truckdrivin' Neighbors Downstairs is one twisted individual - I love it."