Sound — 8
This indie-label detour from 1994's Mellow Gold, One Foot In The Grave ranges from the lullaby politeness of "Hollow Log" to the dripping blues stomp "Ziplock Bag," from the folk reverie of "Forcefield" to the riffage of "Burnt Orange Peel." Not memorable for production, it does contain one of Beck's finest: the swirling, astral "Atmospheric Conditions."
Lyrics — 8
Beck's lyrics (somewhat cooled down on the breakthrough Odelay), are as surrealistic as ever. The irony of Bob Dylan, coupled with the stream-of-consciousness force of a guitar-wielding William Faulkner, add to philosophical statements like "stay up all night getting drunk, sleeping on a hollow log." The vocals, incoherent and at times atonal, are prime Lou Reed deadpan and Bob Dylan nasal.
Overall Impression — 10
Free-ranging, funny, and lacking the burned-out boredom of Sea Change (though still very good), and the stupidity of his funky Midnite Vultures, it is Beck's best, a milestone (to me) in popular music. The album has little wrong. Highlights include: every song on the album. If you enjoy the noise of "Minus" (Odelay), or the lithe grace of "Round the Bend" (Sea Change"), this is for you.