- Audio CD (Oct. 3 2006)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: CD+DVD
- Label: Universal Music Group
- ASIN: B000HIVO64
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,068 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Three years in the making, The Information is the album Beck began work on in 2003 with producer Nigel Godrich (Radiohead's OK Computer, Kid A; Beck's Sea Change, Mutations) and finally completed this year once Guero's massive success and encore touring engagements, as well as Nigel's other commitments, were fulfilled. The Information is comprised of 15 songs and a DVD featuring homemade videos for each of the 15 songs shot in-studio during the actual sessions. The artwork for The Information is either non-existent or infinite, depending on one's point of view. Each copy will come in a blank package with one of four collectible sticker sheets specially designed by European and American artists and representative of the unique Beck aesthetic. The stickers will give every Beck fan the opportunity to participate in the creative process by designing his or her own one of a kind CD cover.
On The Information, Beck Hansen is seriously bummed out. Not that he sounds it as much as he did on 2002's laconic, Fred Neil-worshipping Sea Change. Technology and stuff, and the way it gets in the way of human interaction, is the subtext if not the full-on concept at play here. Recorded with art-rock anal-retentive Nigel Goodrich at the helm, work began on this album not long after Sea Change but was shelved for a few years while Mr. Hansen made 2005's Guero with the Dust Brothers. Unsurprisingly, it sounds a bit like both of those. The trappings of minimalist pop, fuzzy folk, click-hop, hip-hop, baroque psychedelia, and funky pop are to be found on this endearing release. Like Jean Cocteau or David Bowie, Beck is an artistic chameleon whose greatest gift is knowing which artists to borrow from, and when. The cover artwork consists of stickers that you can arrange however you like, which perhaps appeals too much to your own nostalgic/retro, "Trapper Keeper" sensibilities. And yet, it's kind of awesome, something you can't believe has never been done before. Much like the album it adorns. --Mike McGonigal
Top customer reviews
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The stickers are a cute idea, I like the lo-fi videos, but the music is a little tired.
If you like Beck you will like this album - but you probably won't LOVE it.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Otherworldly textures make this album exciting and listening to this on the right headphones (I can hear the lyrics better on AKG headphones) makes "We Dance Alone." positively heart stopping. "The Information" is the catchiest song with primal beats and ecstatic sighs.
1000 BPM is highly complex even if you look up the lyrics. It seems you can either decide to analyze the lyrics of just enjoy the electronic texture ride. "Movie Theme" has more warmth and mellows out the album at the end like a dreamy soul daze.
In the end, I think I'm in love with the way his voice navigates the poetry and plays with sensuality within technology. The lyrics tease and taunt the listener in the most intriguing ways and you are left blissfully mystified in places and enlightened in others where recognition dawns. I still love "Sea Change" for the acoustic elements, but this is stunning in its edgy electronic elation.
~The Rebecca Review
The CD alone is worth every penny of the price, and the inclusion of the DVD puts it way over the top. For anyone who saw the DVD for the deluxe edition of Guero, this one is far, far better. Utilizing cheap video editing equipment and anyone who happened by, Beck and crew have made a wackily entertaining visual interpretation of the songs.
So the question is: How does The Information stack up against Odelay, the album that his every subsequent release has been judged by? I think The Information is a superior album, the best one Beck has yet cut. Maybe it's not quite as groundbreaking, but these days Beck's fans have higher expectations. With The Information, Beck not only meets those expectations, but once again raises the bar.
For a little extra fun, we can all participate in the creative process, because the CD comes with pages of decals with which you can personally design your own covers for the CD, both front and back.