By: Nick Chidiac / October 24th, 2016
How would you feel if, with all the trailers and anticipatory hype, you showed up for a midnight showing of your favorite film’s long-awaited sequel, sat down in the theater, and nothing happened? After asking around you realize that nobody else knows what’s going on either, but the blockbuster you’ve been looking forward to has been pushed back indefinitely. Beck’s newest release is that blockbuster, and it has left his audience impatiently waiting for what they thought was right in front of them.
Without so much as a “heads up” to his immense fan base, the legendary creator of funk-filled elevator psychedelia has pulled his yet untitled 13th LP right out from under fans who have been chomping at the bit to hear how the indie glitchmaster will follow his 2014 release. The mellow dreaminess of Morning Phase won Beck Three Grammy awards including Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, and Best Non-Classically Engineered Album, but this latest project is said to have been in the works since even before that. First it was pushed back a year, then estimated to be out in early 2016, the October 21st, and now, with this latest setback, listeners are left hoping to hear his newest sound sometime in November, or this year at all.
Although the record has been pushed back (again), at least this time we have the security blanket of a few singles to keep us company while we wait. The clubworthy electro-pop of “Up All Night”, which was unveiled as part of the soundtrack for EA Sports’ new soccer videogame “FIFA 17”, dropped in September, and continues the artistic experimentalism that Beck has made a career out of. However, it’s the combination of off-the-wall beats and turntable scratchery of “Wow” with the strumming catchiness of the odd, yet radio-friendly “Dreams” that has devoted Beck buffs expecting a return to the artist’s more playful side. All things considered, this mysteriously delayed album is shaping up to be the most fun we’ve had listening to Beck since Guerro went gold in 2005.
As for the reason, or reasons, for this delay, you guess is as good as mine. One suggestion is that the holdup is due to Beck’s appearance on Lady Gaga’s newest album, Joanne, which was set to be revealed the same day. Another theory is that Beck wanted some space between this release and the October 28th reissue of his previous records. Who knows? Maybe there’s some other, completely understandable explanation that we just can’t wrap our minds around. But the musician’s website isn’t giving anything away, leaving fans with only a vague approximation of when their expectation frustration will finally come to an end.