We revisit Beck's major label debut Mellow Gold, was it a warm-up for the multi-platinum Odelay, or is Loser the only worthwhile nugget?
While Beck was known in the underground anti-folk scene of the early 90s, it's his major label debut Mellow Gold and the single "Loser" that both put him on the mainstream map and tapped into the cultural "slacker" zeitgeist of the 90s (a term he rejected, BTW). Revisiting his breakthrough reminds us what a weird and unpredictable place "alternative" music could be, as Beck taps equally into the New York hip hop and deconstructed blues scene via the Beastie Boys and Jon Spencer, while dabbling into West Coast twisted folk and psychedla of Captain Beefheart and Moby Grape, all mashed together on in a stew of beat poetry and cut and paste lyrics. Unlike Odelay and later releases, the decidedly anti- approach of some of the material gave us pause about whether it was really a cohesive record, or a collage of hit and miss experiments.
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