Midnite Vultures

Midnite Vultures

by BeckBeck


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From the tips of his folkie fingers to the bottom of his burrito soul, Beck Hansen is a rock-'n'-roll utopian. It's just that his version of Eden is a never-ending block party barbecue on the shuffleboard deck of the Love Boat. As alt-rock's unlikely hero of pleasure-friendly irony and love-man fronting, Beck has put a sheepish smile on the often-anonymous face of late-'90s sample-pop culture, reinventing the Beastie Boys' thrift-store aesthetics as some mutant spawn of Bob Dylan and Tom Jones might have it. In this fine tradition, MIDNITE VULTURES picks up where 1996's shake-'n'-bake classic, ODELAY, left off, goosing Beck's standard art-hop boogie with metal riffs on "Pressure Zone" and theremin flow on "Broken Train." Goosier still is the gutbucket bustler "Mixed Bizness," which gets risky by "mixing business with leather," and "Hollywood Freaks," on which ultra-sex-fiend Kool Keith strolls by to help Beck bust out a little Octagonal rhyme style. All of this serves as padding for a record that essentially reads like a weird, wily essay on sex and sensitivity in the late '90s. The single "Sexx Laws" rides a Swinging London go-go groove to spoof the "logic" of gender roles, with Beck stepping up to offer, "I'm a full grown man/but I'm not afraid to cry." And it isn't hard to see through all the saucy steam and references to the "good ship ménage à trois" to find a sweet, gentle soul hungry for a little connection in an alienated age. Sure, he might deliver his Prince parody slow-jam, "Debra," with the flair of a vaudeville comedian, but there's a spooky sincerity poking through his stylized smirk in lines like "Baby, step inside my Hyundai" -- even if the real hook is the chorus, "I wanna get with you and your sister/I think her name's Debra." And yet just as Beck balanced the winks and hijinks of ODELAY's "Where It's At" with the Dylanesque "Jack Ass," the soft, luminous reverie "Beautiful Way" sees him praying for true love that won't hit the road before the whipped cream goes flat on the motel sheets. Sure, it isn't exactly Jewel trying to save your soul, but in the age of irony a little humanism goes a long way.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/23/1999
Label: Interscope Records
UPC: 0606949048525
catalogNumber: 490485

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Beck   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Vocoder
David Brown   Tenor Saxophone
David Campbell   Viola
Larry Corbett   Cello
Joel Derouin   Violin
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar
Jay Dee Maness   Pedal Steel Guitar
Johnny Marr   Electric Guitar
Herb Pedersen   Banjo
Fernando Pullum   Horn
David Ralicke   Trombone
Joe Turano   Horn,Background Vocals
Arnold McCuller   Background Vocals
Smokey Hormel   Guitar
Joey Waronker   Percussion,Drums
Beth Orton   Background Vocals
Dust Brothers   scratching
Steve Baxter   Horn,Background Vocals
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Shaker,Upright Bass
Valerie Pinkston   Background Vocals
Roger Manning   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Tambourine,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Clavinet,Percus,Shaker,Vocoder
DJ Swamp   scratching
Eve Butler   Violin
Arroyo Bombers   Choir, Chorus
Arroyo Tabernacle Mens Chorale   Choir, Chorus
Jon Birdsong   Trumpet
Tony Hoffer   Guitar,wah wah guitar

Technical Credits

Beck   Programming,Producer,Horn Arrangements
David Campbell   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Dust Brothers   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Mickey Petralia   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Eye   Artwork,Art Direction,Collage
Gimbop   Layout Direction
Michel Gondry   Collage
Tony Hoffer   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Sound Design

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