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Beck’s latest album, Modern Guilt, is ambitious but it sees his sound reduced, filtering out some unnecessary digital noise from his previous work, 2006’s The Information; cell phone rings that were good, clean fun inspire little except the desire to not party. The vagueness of “Chemtrails,” however, hints at a return to form. Producer Danger Mouse provides some snappiness and color to the ’60s psychedelia—lush vocal harmonies are rounded off and their edges fuzzed. There’s not much pop music here, just a dreamy funk sound that gives in to the power of an almost evil cascade of drum. All geniuses need a bit of darkness and mystery, right?

TMN Editor Mike Deri Smith is no gourmet, he just has an abnormally large stomach. He lives in London. More by Mike Deri Smith

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