Although it was originally scheduled for an October 26 release, Beck has pushed back his yet-untitled new album until 2005, according to his publicist. The album and its accompanying artwork, remixes and videos were reportedly not likely to be finished in time to meet a fall release date.
However, several tracks have been completed, and although the chameleonic singer's recording career has been filled with musical left turns, his new LP might actually be more of a U-turn: Many of the songs find him in familiar territory.
Produced by longtime cohort Tony Hoffer and Odelay alums the Dust Brothers, the album is in many ways a return to form, melding the beats and rhythms of Odelay with the melodies and acoustic guitars of 1998's Mutations.
"E-Pro," the likely first single, has a hip-hop vibe seemingly culled directly from the Odelay party songbook, complete with a "Na-na-na" chorus. The track also sees a return of Beck's trademark non-sequitur rhymes, his first since those on 1999's Day-Glo funk fest, Midnite Vultures.
Meanwhile, "Gospel" is closest to the somber vibes of 2002's Sea Change, but within the context of handclaps and beats. And another new track, "Guero," is straight-up East L.A.: A mixture of hip-hop, Spanglish rhymes and stripped-down funk, the track is an homage to Beck's roots in L.A.'s Hispanic neighborhoods, with samples of street noise and Mexican vatos (homeboys) chattering. "Brazilica" mines the same warm, bossa nova territory showcased on Mutations' "Tropicalia."
Other tracks under consideration for the album include the trippy Dust Brothers production "Earthquake Weather," and songs bearing the tentative titles of "Dance," "Scarecrow" and "Chain Reaction." White Stripes frontman Jack White also collaborated with the singer on a yet-untitled track(see "Beck To Kick Out Jams On Next LP With Help From Jack White").
More than 15 songs are being considered for inclusion on what will be Beck's eighth full-length.