Beck Hansen is his generation’s David Bowie. The ultimate musical shapeshifter, he’s incorporated folk, hard rock, hip-hop, electronic, pop, bossa nova and a dozen other stylings into a 22-year body of work, forging the most singular career of any of his contemporaries.
Posting new track Dreams to YouTube today, Beck puts pen to paper on yet another fresh chapter. Guessing the 44-year-old’s next move has always been futile and, moving away from the disappointing but hugely successful 2014 album Morning Phase, the song sees him leaving behind the delicate, acoustic guitar fiddles for the most radio-friendly sound he’s attempted in a decade. Dreams is an expertly-chiseled pop number; a lean, groovy, propulsive record to ring out over the wide-open arenas as his summer tour gathers pace (Beck performs at Live at the Marquee, Cork, tomorrow night and Dublin’s Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Wednesday).
Opening with a huge, sludgy guitar lick that echoes like a siren warning that the good-time Beck of Odelay, Guero and The Information is back, the punishingly-thumped drum loops and instantly catchy chorus hark back to late-eighties Madchester – all baggy trousers and manic dance moves. The singer’s in great voice, his deep baritone as expansive an instrument as ever. Infectious but not glossy, Dreams is another great Beck track to add to the pile, and a teasing preview to the next phase of his career, whatever the hell that turns out to be.
Beck image via Shutterstock