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Beck: Odelay: Deluxe Edition

A

Beck

Album: Odelay: Deluxe Edition
Label: Geffen

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The good, perhaps obvious, news: Beck's Odelay still holds up remarkably well a dozen years after its release. It's the most fully realized and purely listenable disc in a catalog brimming with them, and the hopscotch that threatened to date it immediately has been mellowed by history into something classic instead. Fusing folk and hip-hop with whatever else struck his fancy paid off for Beck, and "Devil's Haircut," "Jack-Ass," and even the slightly overdone "Where It's At" sound as forward-thinking now as they did in 1996.

The not-as-good, perhaps as obvious, news: 19 tracks from the era, all gathered as bonus material for this deluxe edition, don't hold a candle to the album itself. "Deadweight," originally released on the A Life Less Ordinary soundtrack, is pretty great, but much of the material that didn't make Odelay will appeal to diehards only: An UNKLE remix of "Where It's At" goes on for 12 minutes, and the Beck-periments "Lemonade" and the deliberately obtuse blues jam "Trouble All My Days" just fall flat. Still, there are diamonds to be had in this rough—a chilled version of "Jack-Ass" almost bests the album version, and a remix of "Devil's Haircut" by Mickey P recasts the song as DC hardcore. And while the collection doesn't unearth any lost classics, it should at least inspire a few extra listens to Odelay itself—never a bad thing.