Beck Albums Ranked

Beck Hansen (born Bek David Campbell; July 8, 1970) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He rose to fame in the early 1990s with his experimental and lo-fi style and became known for creating musical collages of wide-ranging genres. He has musically encompassed folk, funk, soul, hip hop, electronic, alternative rock, country, and psychedelia. He has released 14 studio albums (three of which were released on indie labels), as well as several non-album singles and a book of sheet music. With a pop art collage of musical styles, oblique and ironic lyrics, and postmodern arrangements incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation, and sound effects, Beck has been hailed by critics and the public throughout his musical career as being among the most idiosyncratically creative musicians of 1990s and 2000s alternative rock. Two of Beck’s most popular and acclaimed recordings are Odelay and Sea Change, both of which were ranked on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The four-time platinum artist has collaborated with several artists and has made several contributions to soundtracks. Here are all of Beck albums ranked.

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10. Colors (2017)

“I’ve been a Beck fan since “Odelay” and up to this point my favorite album was “Midnite Vultures” – in fact, it was one of my top 25 of all-time. You never know what you’re going to get from album to album with Beck, and that’s part of the fun. He’s ever-changing and jumps from one category to another all the time. I prefer the pop albums to the more avant-garde, but some of his more mellow stuff is still great.”

9. The Information (2006)

“The best Beck album I’ve heard – mind blowing production and a demented, funk-laden, groove-happy mishmash of sonic and lyrical playfulness. People fixate on Sea Change and Odelay – fine albums – but this is something else! The oddness is just as wild as his earlier efforts, but there is a delicious maturing of sound and vision that make this a very satisfying listening experience. “

8. Modern Guilt (2008)

“While the SOUND of the album might be drenched in the 60’s, its message, especially in the title track “Modern Guilt”, rings true for life in the 21st Century: “I feel so cold when I’m at home/Feels like everything’s starting to hit me…These people talk about impossible things/And I’m falling out of the conversation…Say what you will/Smoke your last cigarette/Don’t know what I’ve done but I feel afraid.”

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7. Guero (2005)

“Guerro is just as smart, energetic, eclectic, diverse and on the money as anything he has produced before. Obviously he knows what he does well and he sticks to it. Some might say he doesn’t push the boundaries enough (for instance, there is no thrash/death/speed metal or the like – not sure thats such a bad thing) but as a musician, whose primary focus is the indie pop genre, he is superlative. Everything about the man screams talent; from his choice of wonderful album artwork to the thoughtful, witty lyrical content of his song writing.”

6. Mutations (1998)

“Every song has its place, the mood is very chilled and consistent, and the lyrics are engaging and creative. This stands with any of his full albums as a worthwhile piece of music. Really Beck could do no wrong in this era. It was album after album of high quality, and Mutations remains a distinctly low key piece with grand ambitions and a style he would never really repeat. “

5. Mellow Gold (1994)

“Absolutely the best Beck album I know of, in my opinion. If you’re new to Beck and want to experience a broad spectrum of his versatility then this album is for you. There are some haunting toe tappers on this one. If you like Beck AND have a twisted sense of humor, this album might speak to you on a much deeper level than some of his other albums have/will. Don’t get me wrong, I like Beck’s other albums too but this one is really dark and heartfelt from a sicko genius standpoint. I would label this album “Brilliant!” and “A must own” for any Beck fan.”

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4. Midnite Vultures (1995)

“This album is awesome… groovy and hilarious. People either like the princiness/old school funk of it or complain that he copies Prince and either don’t like prince and therefore don’t like this or like prince and would just listen to Prince instead of this album. What people don’t understand is that Beck is both biting off Prince and making fun of him. It’s a little post-modern concept called appropriation. Beck is both paying homage to these musicians and mocking them. “

3. Morning Phase (2014)

“Morning Phase is a slow, sleepy, waking up in the morning kind of album. Despite the music being slow, the mix is very thick and there is always something going on, and if there isn’t it is because the song is building to it. A lot of piano, acoustics, and dreamy vocals with a slight country tinge. And I hate country. But I love this album. While not quite good enough to deserve a perfect rating in my eyes, if this is the direction Beck is heading in then he has a new fan in me.”

2. Sea Change (2002)

“I first listened to it after hearing “Lost Cause” on the radio and found it to be full of acoustic gems. This isn’t to say that it’s just a folksy album, however. The songs are very rich instrumentally as best illustrated by “Lonesome Tears.” There’s a common thread of beautiful sadness which is introduced in the first track, “The Golden Age,” and runs throughout. The album isn’t as off-the-wall as earlier Beck efforts, but there are moments of his unique weirdness. If you are looking for a happy, upbeat album full of bubbly songs, Sea Change is not for you. “

1. Odelay (1996)

“Beck’s lyrics are just as full of random, noisy, but cool imagery. Beck also plays a large mix of styles, from the rock of Devils Haircut to the country twangs present in Lord Only Knows and Sissyneck, to the hip-hop and rap of Where It’s At and many other songs, to the slower songs of Jack-Ass and Ramshackle. The way his songs play out remind me of abstract art, full of unclear meaning.”