Top 100

#96 Midnite Vultures – Beck (1999)


Track Listing:-

  1. Sexx Laws
  2. Nicotine and Gravy
  3. Mixed Bizness
  4. Get Real Paid
  5. Hollywood Freaks
  6. Peaches & Cream
  7. Broken Train
  8. Milk & Honey
  9. Beautiful Way
  10. Pressure Zone
  11. Debra

Well, this is some album.

Beck is a rather interesting fella isn’t he? This album is what you would refer to as an immediate record. The album slaps you in the face with its catchy melodies tunes. I really did enjoy listening to it, but I am having difficulty explaining exactly why.

The album encompasses all sorts of different genres including Disco, Funk, Pop, Rock, Hip-Hop, Country, Folk and Psychedelia. When a new track starts you just have no idea what is going to happen next.

The song titles intrigued me; ‘Nicotine and Gravy’ sounds like the title of a song about a chap who lives in Burnley, goes to the chip shop on a Friday, orders chips and gravy and has a cigarette while he’s eating it before heading down to his local pub to have a pint of mild.

‘Sexx Laws’ brings to mind a list of rules by which to ‘get it on’, as well as suggesting that Beck is a tad overzealous when it comes to typing on the keyboard.

My favourite song on the album is ‘Milk & Honey’ which sounds like a latter day Super Furry Animals song; one to appear on ‘Hey Venus!’ or ‘Dark Days/Light Years’. It sounds like a blueprint stolen by the Super Furries in order to make those records, which is no bad thing as Super Furries are one of my favourite bands.

I’m not entirely sure about the Hip-Hop direction taken on ‘Hollywood Freaks’, it does sound a little forced and uninspired and there are plenty of artists that do this a lot better if that’s the kind of thing that you’re into.

Lyrically this album has not pulled any trees from the ground; songs seem to mainly revolve around sex and how he is ‘packing heat’. He tells us in the opening track that “I want to defy the logic of all sex laws”.

Beck also sings about the highlife such as ‘riding on executive planes’, but it isn’t in an irritating way, and it does have a real tongue in cheek feel to it.

Overall, this is a musically ambitious and a confident sounding album. Beck’s vocal range is certainly impressive, especially when he chucks in his alluring falsetto on ‘Debra’, who seems to be someone’s sister that he wants to ‘get with’. He also wants to get with you too by the way and by the sound of it, anything that moves. Bless.