Thursday, January 24, 2008

Beck - It's All In Your Mind

(K, 1995)

I’ll talk about this Beck record now. I’ll talk about it real good. About how it’s three songs from the One Foot In The Grave sessions ladled onto seven inches o’ waxy sadness. Not too many laughs on this one, sirs and madams! It bein’ barebones and all. Early stabs at sincerity, yeah. Simple, acoustic introspection up the wazoo!! Many tentative steps toward the emotional openness to come. He redid the surprisingly straightforward and mournful “It’s All In Your Mind” on Sea Change, but the production molasses did nothing to improve the song; the naked original – gtr and voice – on here is far more affecting. The similarly stripped-down “Feather In Your Cap” is thrashed at and sung in a sorta sardonic voice, as if to belie the lyrics (“Disappointment/Is a feather in your cap,” etc.), which are clearly heartfelt. This one was treated to a remake as well – showing up on the Suburbia soundtrack and “Sissyneck” single – and that lush, expanded version actually brings out the track’s buried melancholy by slowing it down and focusing on it the appropriate seriousness and care it isn’t given here. By far the peppiest song is “Whiskey Can Can,” a bouncy popper that is sunnier and more featherweight than most anything else in the Beck catalog, even though it does fit into his early-days habit of shoehorning the word ‘whiskey’ into every available lyric. Peppy? Here? Holy incongruity! Still, an interesting, moving disc, and eagle-eyed richies can find these songs as bonuses on the Japanese CD release of One Foot.

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