Album Review: Colors by Beck

I woke up on October 13th minutes before class to the noise of my iPhone ringing with a notification that Beck had released his long-awaited new album, Colors. Certainly, the ordinary person would hop onto Spotify and listen to it instantly. However, I decided to wait until the perfect time to listen to this highly anticipated album. I mentally prepared myself to listen so I could get the essence of the album all at once since I knew it would be a strong record, even before I listened to it.

After another failed bid at trying to do a homework on a Friday evening after classes, I decided to relieve some stress and energy by skating throughout the streets of Charleston. While riding, I remarked that I have yet to listen to Colors.  I knew this would be the perfect time to listen to it. With the sun setting and not having much on my plate at the moment, the time couldn’t be better to engulf myself in Colors. I open up my phone, hit play and let the album take me on an expedition.

This album is awesome. Yes, other adjectives might be more eloquent, but overall it is just an awesome album. Colors is filled with unlimited jams that can leave such an impact on the listener that they want it on repeat. I have skated around Charleston many times since I came here in August, but today was the best out of any day, all thanks to Beck. You could listen to this album anywhere and it’ll fit the mood. Colors has a sustainable and intact environment that makes this a very flexible and versatile record.

From the top of the line production to the catchy choruses followed by strong and consistent verses on almost every song, Beck has rejuvenated his artistic career by appealing to a different crowd than usual. That “crowd” being people who have never heard of Beck prior to now. It is hard to imagine that this album could be in any way related to his most famous song, “Loser.” Beck attracts his original fan base to Colors, but also adds an immense number of new fans with his fresh new sound that could be relatable to any fan of modern day pop. The electronic guitar funk rhythm on songs such as “Seventh Heaven” and “Dear Life” is instant ear food for both old and new listeners. Beck may be in his late forties, but he has shown no signs of slowing down as an artist with this engaging album for all audiences to appreciate. Beck incorporates old sounds from the earlier days of his career, such as the glorious bass lines and distant vocals. Also, Beck demonstrates the ways of today’s production with his focus on a more clear and distinct pop sound than other albums, such as Odelay. Beck always wants to change up his style with every album. In this case, Colors is a clear cut pop record that overwhelmingly exceeds the sound of typical pop music.  

Obviously, we can’t forget his singles that were released last year and the year before that. The singles “Wow” and “Dreams” were hits on their own accord, however they divided the album into unsolicited choppy parts. Personally, I believe that releasing an album is all about the logistics of how it actually is released. How could you build anticipation for an album without overdoing it? Although the marketing and hype do not determine an album’s true worth, it can help get the album get off the ground and garner support from fans. However, the awkward timeline of Colors does not factor into how each song on its own is truly blissful. I would relate this album to Tame Impala’s critically acclaimed Currents. Not in the sense of sounding similar, but they inspire the same listening experience. If one were to shuffle the album, the effect would be no different than if played in the way it was intended to be. Colors is a great album but lacks a storyline of beginning, middle, and end. Similar to Currents in that sense, it still seems to have a very good song selection. However, Colors still lacks the sense of consolidation that defines a consistent album.

Coming off of Morning Phase, an album that won him Album of the Year at the 2015 Grammys, Beck set the bar incredibly high for Colors. However, if you allowed someone to listen to both albums without knowing who Beck was, they would be surprised by how much versatility he has as an artist. Beck can play 13 instruments and has proven his ability to change up his style with every album he has created. But on Colors, Beck creates a new sound that we all thought wasn’t possible for Beck to become accustomed to. Even though he is on the late side of his 40’s, he still knows how to appeal a younger audience with his new top of the line album Colors.


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