On his eighth album, Beck takes a trip with producer Danger Mouse to a more psychedelic era. Splashy beats and swirling effects give Modern Guilt an acid-tinged feel while reverbed vocals spread throughout add an almost haunting texture. As a whole, it’s no less than another inspired twist to the man’s wildly prolific career.
On Modern Guilt, Beck delivers a made-in-SoCal performance that blends sunny psych-rock with a DIY garage vibe. It’s an engaging, adventurous tour through ’60s effects with a modern trip-pop edge. From the soft distance vocals on “Chemtrails” to the fuzzed-out bounce of “Profanity Prayers” both Beck and Danger Mouse lay a groovy blanket on Beck’s signature alt-rock. Modern Guilt also has more future-leaning moments like the quirky shuffle on “Youthless”, the wafting “Walls”, and the metallic punch of “Soul of a Man”.
Modern Guilt has less of outstretched arm and more of a inviting, come-into-our-world appeal than Beck’s earlier releases. But it’s as compelling as any of his efforts, and unsurprisingly, shows that there’s even more virtuosity left in him.