Beck, Dreams single review

Beck, DreamsWe’re starting to think that you can’t second guess Beck, because just when you think you’ve got the dude pegged he splits off in a different direction on you, throwing all of your preconceptions out the window in the process. That’s exactly what he’s done on his latest single, Dreams, which switches up a few gears to faster, more uplifting heights on the back of last year’s brilliantly immersive, down-tempo 9th official studio, Morning Phase.

The single is already available on digital download from iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, following its release on the 15th June 2015 through Beck’s new label contract with Capital Records. It’s also been confirmed for a 12″ vinyl release date of the 21st August 2015 and it’s the first track to emerge from the highly anticipated and as yet unnamed new album from the Californian alt-rock legend.

The single itself is fast, or at least very fast for Beck’s usual lower tempo past outings. It’s also a stark contrast to the usual down-beat musings of the singer songwriter, who broke out of the early 1990s with the breakout single Loser. Usually, when well established artists change direction from their support base expectations it gets the kind of stripping down that Gunnary Seargent Hartman would have been proud of, but in Dreams you’ve got a cool summer-time track that’s hard to fault.

There’s a rapid-fire, driving electric guitar rhythm running through it all, which builds in a lot of movement and flow into the track, while also tipping a cap to the funk and hip-hop influences that led to previous Beck albums, Midnite Vultures and Modern Guilt. There’s also a neat little electro melody that ripples out underneath the guitar rhythm, reiterating the eclectic outlook to music production that has shaped his impressive career.

Vocals sound cool and modern, combining higher pitch sections with mid range tones, which are more the norm for Beck. They sound Shins-like at times, adding weight to the chameleon skills reputation he’s built up over the years. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Dreams clocks in at a weighty 5:14, but never lets the momentum of the song slip, using smart interchanges between chorus and verse variation to keep it feeling well charged right the way through.

A big part of this is the massive change-up around the final third mark, which introduces a new, sything electric guitar rhythm with rougher tones than the one that dominated the earlier sections of the single. It comes with a pounding drum beat and a few phase shifted notes before dropping into a groove of acoustic guitar rhythm and then back to the rest of the track style to close out the song with a lot of style.

If Dreams is an early sample of what ‘s still to come from Beck’s next album then it’s looking very positive. If you haven’t added it to your party track list for the rest of the summer then you probably should. Check out the stream below and let us know what you think in the comments block.

Beck, Dreams single review: 4.2/5

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