Having released the autumnal beauty of 2014’s ‘Morning Phase’ in the chill of February, Beck opts to deploy his most unashamedly summery record in the middle of October. He’ll never learn. The languid majesty of its predecessor is nowhere to be seen on these highly polished, highly programmed pop songs. You’ll know the joyous ‘Dreams’ from 2015 and the loose, but ephemeral, ‘Wow’ from 2016: the first two parts of the longest promotional campaign in music history. The other eight tracks are new, in as much as they’ve not been previously released, but the sound is far from inventive.
At several points it sounds chillingly like Robbie Williams, replete with his customary mid-Atlantic drawl, has burst in for a ‘featuring’ credit, so excessively buffed and determinedly populist are some of these songs. ‘I’m So Free’ is the prime example, and on several occasions ‘Colors’ feels rather like being force-fed NOW 50.
Recent single ‘Dear Life’ apes Ben Folds, while final track ‘Fix Me’ evokes Girls Aloud’s ‘Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me’ with its intro. This isn’t a bad record, but it’s quite surprisingly bland. There are plenty of hooks and the pace rarely relents, but it’s hard to ever imagine ‘Colors’ ever being in anyone’s top five favourite Beck albums.
Words: Gareth James
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