Beck

The Information (Interscope)

Phases & Stages

Beck

The Information (Interscope)

What about the hats? Customizing The Information booklet and CD inset tray from the enclosed sticker sheet matrixes third eyes galore, mirrored orbs, killer klowns (one merely drooling), and a vulnerable woodcut. Yet the headgear only makes it onto the accompanying DVD, matching Flaming Lips cable-access visuals to high-gloss "Elevator Music" byte for byte. Cameos by Devendra Banhart, Marissa Ribisi, and a double-neck Mosrite leave only a cursory YouBoob double take in the face of Radiohead Nigel Godrich's bottomless aural playscape. The irresistible stairwell echo to "Elevator," puppyish bassline of "Think I'm in Love," and funhouse shuffle causing "Nausea" go merrily round and round the leaky faucet anthem "Cell Phone's Dead." Midway, "Dark Star" wanders into inner space, losing "We Dance Alone," "1000bpm," and "Motorcade" 'til the title bomp and Air-y "Movie Theme" dock at the end. What The Information lacks in Sea Changemanship it makes up for in Midnight Vultures, hats be damned.

***

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