Sound — 9
The hit 2005 album Guero delayed the release of The Information which was a project Beck began after 2002's Sea Change. Many critics viewed Guero as a return to form in the Odelay days. In musical terms, this album is as good as Guero. The producer Nigel Godrich and his reputation as a perfectionist in the studio is displayed in form on The Information.
Lyrics — 8
At first listen, you'll notice that this is a very focused Beck album. Godrich's production puts Beck on a track that works most affectively for his abilities. You must listen to this album closely to fully appreciate what they were trying to accomplish. Lyrically, Beck is an obscurist. This roots to his influence of the writing of Kurt Cobain. Most of what he writes is deliberately conceived this way and after a decade of using these tactics, he knows what works and what doesn't. The rhythm's are very prominent and become the muscle behind nearly every song. "Nausea" in particular is very tedious. It's hard to feel the direction the song is taking next which really is a success because it resembles the song title to a textbook definition. "Elevator Music" is an answer to "E-Pro" on Guero. Very arena-pop sounding.
Overall Impression — 9
The funk-rock mixed with rap style that Beck is often cited for being a pioneer in the Alternative Rock wave over a decade ago isn't as prevalent on this album as it was on Guero. There are two modes of Beck influence interweaving on this album: folk and pop-art rock. This is a more focused album from a master of obscure music. This particular album, like any art-conceptual based album, will take a few listens to fully find meaning in. At first you'll be overwhelmed by the "Bells & Whistles" of a typical Beck record but if you look hard enough, you'll find the Information.