Beck Midnite Vultures (DGC)
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Dec. 31, 1999
Midnite Vultures (DGC)Ol' Dirty Beck? Let's listen in: "I wanna defy the logic of all sex laws," he sings on Midnite Vultures' opener "Sexx Laws," as a sumptuous horn section and insouciant banjo battle for supremacy in the background. It seems that after the acerbic, introspective detour of Mutations, Mr. Hansen has decided it's time to get his freak on. First, he's riding "the good ship ménage à trois" on "Peaches & Cream," then later he's leaking pheromones like nuclear secrets as he admires some betty "looking like jail bait, selling lots of real estate" on "Hollywood Freaks." And good luck finding a better-sounding album for getting horizontal. Even if the title isn't a winking swipe at Marvin Gaye's Midnight Love, the two make perfect bedroom bookends: Marvin for the cooing, cheek-brushing set-up, Midnite Vultures for when the handcuffs are out, lamps are being knocked over, and communicating in English ceased 45 minutes ago. The robotic "Get Real Paid," bluesy "Broken Train," and heady "Pressure Zone" are three intoxicating invitations to disrobe. The bassline of "Nicotine and Gravy" alone is enough to make hot pants out of the stiffest starched khakis, and those who can't picture a tantalizing striptease to the lush strains of "Beautiful Way" just aren't trying hard enough. For this boffo "official" follow-up to 1996's Odelay!, twentysomething America's favorite post-ironic poet is indeed "mixing business with leather," and beautifully so. If he does get real paid, he could afford to set up his own exploratory committee; the country is practically pleading for another mack in the Oval Office. Beck for president!