I Meant To Listen To: Beck, “Colors”

This past week I have been on vacation. It was a much needed break as I was able to check a few things off the never-ending list of things I want to try (indoor rock climbing) and was able to check out (the local broadcasting media facilities). Another thing I was able to do was finally see Beck in concert. I’ve always wanted to see Beck in concert, but I was never in a great rush to do so. I have heard from several different friends all with several different tastes in music all say that Beck is a can’t-miss performance.

My friends were absolutely right.

The “Night Running Tour” was announced earlier this year featuring bands I haven’t yet seen (Cage the Elephant, Spoon, and Sunflower Bean), so I jumped at the chance to go. I even overlooked the fact that it was held at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield – a venue that I harbor many feelings about.

It should come as no surprise that Beck was utterly breathtaking to see live. From the opening riff to “Loser”, to the closing notes of “Where It’s At“, everything was crisp and dazzling, and Beck was commanding on stage like the true showman he is.

During his set, there were obviously songs I hadn’t heard, but I really dug them. I had figured that some of the songs were off his latest album (see: this post), and I was doing myself a disservice by not checking out Beck’s catalog beyond his hits. Although you could easily argue that Beck’s Greatest Hits are generationally and genre defining.

So, here we are; Beck’s 2017 album Colors.

What I first felt when I heard the opening moments of Colors was an explosion of sounds, one of Beck’s unmistakable traits. As the opening titular track expands, it truly begins to feel as though you could see the music (this was before I even watched the music video). The groove is pretty much animated and is dangerously infectious. And while “Colors” starts off with a celebratory bang, “Seventh Heaven” follows with a beautiful spacey exploratory sound. Within the first two songs, the listener has geared themselves for an imaginative, auditory experience of the finest kind.

Songs like “Dreams”, “I’m So Free”, and “Up All Night” are must-haves for that summer playlist to keep the energy high and heads bopping. It’s further proof that Beck knows how to write and perform toe-tapping pop hits. Other songs like “Dear Life” offer a slightly different perspective while still driving a huge beat and insatiable rhythm.

But for me, my favorite track off of Colors is the song “Wow“. Sounding like a literal space cowboy, the song oozes a strange confidence that is really, really cool. Perhaps it moves me in the same way Kacey Musgraves’ masterpiece album Golden Hour does. “Wow” is a very fun song that would probably sound great in your car on a humid summer’s night.

Beck has been carving his own path for over twenty-five years and has released an impressive collection of alt-rock classics, but I had always taken him for granted. That’s mainly why I wanted to write things like this. I may be opinionated, but I’m not much for criticism. This blog is my way to go back and celebrate all the great art there is so see and hear and be a part of.

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