“Sissyneck” always felt like the neglected Odelay single. No video, no remixes, no American release (the other four songs pulled from the LP had US 12”s)… no hit! A shame, too, because this is a fun little smirk-free shitkicker, a trashed-out tale of late-90s, beer-swillin’, dime-store outlawry with some appropriate pedal steel in the chorus. What’s not to like? The B-side, a second stab at “Feather in Your Cap” (which was first on the “It’s All in Your Mind” 7”), is a champ as well. This time around, Beck slows the tempo, alters some lyrics, and builds a moody, evocative arrangement that suits the song far better than the tossed-off feel of the original. In its depressed beauty, “Feather” is quite different from the rest of the Odelay material – other than “Jack-Ass,” perhaps – and foreshadows the direction in which Beck would soon head on Mutations.
I’m sorry these reviews are so boring lately, it’s just that I, like so many others this time of year, have a serious case of “State of the Union Fever” and can think of nothing else. I can’t wait to see our wonderful President lay out his brilliant 2008 plans in eloquent – poetic, even – terms on Monday night. As I insist (tears in my eyes) every evening when I’m leading my family in saying grace before dinner, we’re so lucky to be living in an age where we share the same air as George W. Bush. God bless you, sir; you’re my favorite President since the late, great Richard M. Nixon. America wins again.