A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire All Men Must Die
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Beck: Guerolito

B

Beck

Album: Guerolito
Label: Interscope

Community Grade (3 Users)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade

?

Beck took a partially deserved drubbing for Guero, the first album of his career that seemed self-consciously concerned about learning from his own past. But had Guero been released free of context and expectations—listeners' and Beck's alike—it would have worked better: It doesn't have Odelay's stem-to-stern strength, but it does feature several hard-drive-fried songs—"E-Pro," "Que Onda Guero," and especially "Hell Yes"—that could only be dismissed by the most dismissive.

The album wasn't exactly begging for a track-by-track remix, and potentially suspect motives can't be ignored: Is Guerolito searching for a hit version from a disc that didn't yield one? Is Beck trying to recapture some underground credibility via remixers? Or, worst of all, is it just a hastily assembled year-end stocking-stuffer? (Hey, Britney Spears released one in 2005.) Improbably, Guerolito appears to be none of those nefarious things; instead, it's a surprisingly cohesive rethink that manages several times to outshine its source material.

The clearest case of someone else's vision besting Beck's is "Ghettochip Malfunction," a remix (by virtually unknown indie-rap group 8Bit) of the already-pretty-great "Hell Yes" that dirties and weirds up the original in a way that Beck circa Mellow Gold might've. French duo Air gives a little goth polish to "Missing," and Mario C brings similarly ominous weight to his remix of "Earthquake Weather," here called "Terremoto Tempo." On the other end of the spectrum, Homelife adds flippant spark to "E-Pro" via a passel of live instruments—strings and banjo contribute to a rushingly strange new background. Of course, some experiments were destined for less-exciting results: Beastie Boy AdRock doesn't do much for "Black Tambourine" by trying to bass it up, and the indie-hop weirdoes in Subtle nearly crush "Farewell Ride" under dark weight and new vocals. Still, Guerolito fares far better than it might've: Instead of sub-par versions of its older brother's songs, it's an illuminating adjunct.