Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Critical Condition: Beck! Bettye!

Just in time for the holidays, it's... new music from Beck! Or, rather... newly packaged music from Beck!

Pitchfork weighs in on Guerolita, the new set of remixes from the Guero album, and it sounds like the results here are mixed:

His fierce glint fading, it's becoming increasingly clear that Beck is no longer able to freely revel in the youthful dalliances that made him famous more than a decade ago. Guerlito's standouts prove that proper taste and a good ear can be just as valuable as songwriting to a multi-tasker like Beck, but even for an artist this venerable, a remix record is still a remix record-- generally uneven, part enlightening, and part skippable.

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone finally discovers the new Bettye Lavette album:

At their best, cover albums are a balance between familiar material and fresh interpretation. Here, Bettye LaVette, the veteran Detroit soul singer known for her 1965 marquee single "Let Me Down Easy," adds a twist: All these numbers were written by women. LaVette connects with the country soul of Dolly Parton as well as Sinead O'Connor's "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got." But it's Lucinda Williams' "Joy," a lyrical trip in search of stolen happiness, that suits LaVette's seen-it-all voice best. Hell to Raise is this year's Van Lear Rose: an often thrilling testament to a wonderful female talent undimmed by time.


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