From Black Keys to his own Gnarls B, Danger Mouse has been plenty busy. As previously suggested, his next high profile knob-turning job is Beck’s 10th album Modern Guilt. RockDaily has the details:

“It was the most intensive work I’ve ever done on anything,” Beck says.

Then he says more.

 

“It was like trying to fit two years of songwriting into two and a half months,” Beck says. “I know I did at least 10 weeks with no days off, until four or five in the morning every night.”

[Danger Mouse] remembers Beck’s stamina during their late-night sessions: “He’s like a machine. I always got tired before he did. I stayed pretty late, but I’d usually hear the next day how late it went.” The resulting album, tentatively titled Modern Guilt, is full of off-kilter rhythms and left-field breakdowns, with an overall 1960s British vibe. Beck’s vocals float over the music as if he’s singing along to some mystical radio station in the next room. The title track has the groove of a good Zombies single, while the twangy guitar and uptempo beat of “Beggars Shoes” make it sound like Beck’s cruising at maximum speed down Route 66. The lyrics include lines about the ice caps melting down (and “the transistor sound”), but there were many earlier versions. “I can’t tell you how many times I wrote and recorded a complete song,” Beck says, “and then just took everything away but the drumbeat and wrote a whole new song.”

Beck and Danger Mouse knew each other casually before making the record — some of Beck’s former musicians ended up playing with Gnarls Barkley — but they were both surprised at how naturally they worked together. “It felt like we could have been making our fourth record together,” Beck says. “It did help that we share a lot of musical references. We spent the first week just talking about different records. His knowledge is pretty deep, especially with some of the obscure late-Sixties, early-Seventies rock.”

The original vision for Modern Guilt was 10 short tracks. “I was hoping all the songs would be two minutes long,” Beck says, “but then I got rid of all the short songs.” Each song started with Beck playing acoustic guitar over a drumbeat: If it made the cut, they’d flesh out the music, usually with Burton playing keyboard bass and Beck playing most of the other instruments. There were just a few guests: Joey Waronker added drums to the epic “Chem Trails,” which would have fit in nicely on an early Pink Floyd record. And Cat Power’s Chan Marshall added backing vocals to a few tracks, including the melancholy “Walls,” which includes the lyric “Some days are worse than you can imagine.”

So far there’s no official release date, but RS reports that sources say Beck’s “likely to rush it out in June, much like the recent blitzkrieg of releases from Gnarls Barkley and the Raconteurs.” Whatever you can do to keep the Web Sheriff and his creepy messages out of our download queue.

Comments (18)
  1. 60s British vibe… yum.. can’t wait.

  2. Same feeing here, I’m hoping he’ll bring back more of the strange beats from MIdnite Vultures

  3. This is already my favorite album of the summer.

  4. Brian  |   Posted on May 12th, 2008 0

    wow, a 1960′s British style, Danger mouse produced, Cat power backed Beck album? consider me hyped, even after “the information”, which was a total let down after the great Guero.

    • Jefferson  |   Posted on May 12th, 2008 0

      Huh, I kind of liked The Information and thought Guero was pretty terrible. It seems like no matter who you are, there’s at least one LP out of Beck’s post-Odelay discography you think is great, and at least one you think is a total letdown.

      Regardless, I’m interested in this album.

  5. Jace  |   Posted on May 13th, 2008 0

    I’m so excited for this, and to see him this summer. I like everything beck has ever done so far.

  6. brian  |   Posted on May 13th, 2008 0

    post-odelay, i think the only album i like is mutations. sea change is good, but obviously depressing as hell and difficult for me to get into very often for that reason.
    all these other albums have forced me to lose any anticipation… but i’m hoping this one will somehow be enjoyable. because i love[d] beck.

  7. I do not think that ANY of Beck’s albums are consistantly great, from first song to last. Each album has its highs and lows. I think that Odelay was his most consistant. I would not say that any of Beck’s albums are better than others because with all of them you can expect to have some really awesome tracks and also a bunch of ho-hums. I can make you a super dope Beck mixtape to bump on your iPod ghetto blaster. Peace.

  8. matt  |   Posted on May 13th, 2008 0

    midnight vultures was the shit though. and sea change IS the best album he’s ever made imo. anyways i’m pumped for this.

  9. mark Hildahl  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    beck is one of the greatest living songwriters in the world today, i’ve read people putting down guero, or the information, they’re both great records and yes sea change is his masterpiece. You have to look at his work as a collective whole. Every album is different from the next and every album has something different to offer. he’s constantly evolving and experimenting so I cannot wait to hear what he’s going to do next. Modern guilt will be a great record!

  10. mark Hildahl  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    beck is one of the greatest living songwriters in the world today, i’ve read people putting down guero, or the information, they’re both great records and yes sea change is his masterpiece. You have to look at his work as a collective whole. Every album is different from the next and every album has something different to offer. he’s constantly evolving and experimenting so I cannot wait to hear what he’s going to do next. Modern guilt will be a great record!

  11. mark Hildahl  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    beck is one of the greatest living songwriters in the world today, i’ve read people putting down guero, or the information, they’re both great records and yes sea change is his masterpiece. You have to look at his work as a collective whole. Every album is different from the next and every album has something different to offer. he’s constantly evolving and experimenting so I cannot wait to hear what he’s going to do next. Modern guilt will be a great record!

  12. mark Hildahl  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    beck is one of the greatest living songwriters in the world today, i’ve read people putting down guero, or the information, they’re both great records and yes sea change is his masterpiece. You have to look at his work as a collective whole. Every album is different from the next and every album has something different to offer. he’s constantly evolving and experimenting so I cannot wait to hear what he’s going to do next. Modern guilt will be a great record!

  13. mark Hildahl  |   Posted on May 28th, 2008 0

    beck is one of the greatest living songwriters in the world today, i’ve read people putting down guero, or the information, they’re both great records and yes sea change is his masterpiece. You have to look at his work as a collective whole. Every album is different from the next and every album has something different to offer. he’s constantly evolving and experimenting so I cannot wait to hear what he’s going to do next. Modern guilt will be a great record!

  14. Chriz  |   Posted on Jun 6th, 2008 0

    Thx 4 those 4 comments Mark = ]
    Anyways, I am so looking forward to this album.
    As for The Info and Guero, liek someone said b4, they both have their highs and lows.
    But damn, can you guys imagine how absolutely amazing a “Best of” album for Beck would be? Probably would have to be 2 disc with so many great songs. Either way, Beck is amazing!

  15. It’s a good, solid album, nothing crazy experimental, but nothing wrong with that, great continuity of sound.

    The July Mix is up, get you some!
    http://www.box.net/shared/kn3usbio8g

  16. pranav  |   Posted on Jul 6th, 2008 0

    guero was the album that introduced me to beck, ok, too late. but i love the album, each song is a grunge retro masterpiece, esp. earthquake weather, girls rocks, hell yes is even more fun!

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