Sound — 10
Beck's The Information is a classic album made by him. Most songs have dirty drum beats (In Elevator Music the drums have flange effect with it) with a hip hop vibe to it. There's a lot of dirtiness in the album. Like mentioned, the drum beats are a great example. Another example is the acoustic guitar he uses in some songs. The things buzzing like crazy. Think of the acoustic or whatever he used in Loser and Hotwax. He took dirty sounds and such and made it into a song. Beck is the only person who is allowed to do that. He uses a variety of "noises" to add to his music, as well. For example, you know when the world had dial-up internet and when you picked the phone up while you were connected and you heard an annoying sound that just makes you want to kill yourself? Well, it turns out he has some of those in his album. He uses it well, and it's not too loud or annoying so you won't have to go crazy. Not only that but The Information has a variety of instruments used in the songs. There's always the regular instruments (guitar, bass, drums, etc.) and there are the very odd ones such as glockenspiel(god knows), gameboy, speak 'n spekk, tote a tune, berimbau, and others. it's really an amusement reading all the instruments used. To remind you, this is no Sea Change. Although some songs have a "chill-out" mood in the album (ex. Dark Star). Beck has a hip hop influence on this album, which doesn't appeal to most people here on Ultimate-Guitar.com. He also has a lot of electronica in it. There's still the Alternative/Indie vibe that most people love about him, too. it's different compared to his previous ones, but it's still Beck and that's what makes it great.
Lyrics — 9
Beck has written many greats from Loser to Golden Age. He's an amazing songwriter and his fans know that. I doubt there's much to put here. Great lyrics in this album. Some of the songs in here use a similar beat or Beck sometimes mixes some of the little parts in other songs to put in one song. Beck still has his voice and it's as great as it was in Odelay. He has this thing with his voice that just makes you relax, and it shows a lot in The Information. I did find it bothering though, that in some interludes in New Round Beck uses some "phone sounds" in it. I didn't think it was appropriate to the mood of the song.
Overall Impression — 10
In my humble opinion, I think this album is better than Guero and up there with some of his best. Sea Change, Odelay, and Mellow Gold are far more superior to The Information, but it's still a great album nonetheless. If it beats out any of those three, this would be legendary. I believe the most brilliant songs out of this album have to be Nausea, Strange Apparition, 1000 BPM, and Dark Star. There are some others, but these are my top favorites off this album. It'll change from time-to-time anyway. OK, now you may be wondering "This guy hasn't mentioned a thing about the stickers." Well, your going to glad just about now. The stickers are the most creative thing about this album and that's what I love about it. Not only do you get a free patch of stickers, but you get to be creative with the album cover. It makes any kind of album special. Each owner's album is unique to it's own kind of style. The booklet is empty as well so you can put the remainder of the stickers in there and show your art off. The back cover of the album has the usual (song lists, record company, FBI Anti-Piracy Warning, etc.) and you can also put the stickers in the back as well. The cover is gridded, so nothings crooked. The stickers are very creative and I wish I could show or describe them to you, but I can't. I like the DVD it comes with, too. The DVD has a compilation of home videos of songs. What I hate about this album is the fact that it's not in the UK charts. Big deal, Beck used a marketing device at least he's doing something to fight piracy, right? I'm not surprised most bands will do what he did and have a bunch of stickers to come with the album.