Mutations (Beck album)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2008)|
|Studio album by Beck|
|Released||November 3, 1998|
|Recorded||March 19, 1998 – April 3, 1998|
|Genre||Psychedelic folk, alternative country, folk-rock, alternative rock|
|Producer||Beck Hansen, Nigel Godrich|
Mutations is the sixth studio album by American alternative rock artist Beck, released in 1998 on Geffen Records. Though less successful on the charts than the preceding Odelay, Mutations established Beck as an eclectic and innovative artist for his sample-free mixture of far-ranging musical genres, including folk rock, bossa nova, psychedelia, country, and blues. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.
Mutations was produced by Nigel Godrich, who was well-known at that point for his previous work with Radiohead. The album contains a number of Moog keyboards, acoustic guitars, and string arrangements. The production style was very different from that of his previous album Odelay, which was heavily influenced by hip hop music and contained many samples. The lyrical content of Mutations is also much more somber and serious than that on Odelay, apparent in the songs "Nobody's Fault But My Own" and "Dead Melodies."
Title and packaging
The title Mutations may be a nod to an influential Brazilian band of the late 60s, Os Mutantes. The song "Tropicalia" pastiches the works of Brazilian tropicalia artists of the era.
The interior artwork features sculptures and drawings by artist Tim Hawkinson.
Before beginning the recording sessions, Beck gained permission from the major label he was under contract with, Geffen, to release Mutations on the small indie label Bong Load Records. However, when Geffen executives heard the album, they reneged on their agreement and released the record. This led to a lawsuit filed by Beck against Geffen. As the record was in a markedly different style than the multi-platinum Odelay, Geffen's marketing effort suggested that the album was not an "official" follow-up, but this was not given wide credence in the music press.
Singles were released for the songs "Tropicalia", "Cold Brains", and "Nobody's Fault But My Own". No promotional music videos were made for any of the singles. Beck appeared on Saturday Night Live in promotion of Mutations, performing "Tropicalia" and "Nobody's Fault But My Own."
Mutations peaked at #13 in the US, going gold, and achieved #24 in the UK and #23 in Australia. As of July 2008, Mutations has sold 586,000 copies in the United States.
|The A.V. Club||(positive)|
|Los Angeles Times|||
All songs written by Beck Hansen.
- "Cold Brains" – 3:41
- "Nobody's Fault but My Own" – 5:02
- "Lazy Flies" – 3:44
- "Canceled Check" – 3:14
- "We Live Again" – 3:05
- "Tropicalia" – 3:20
- "Dead Melodies" – 2:36
- "Bottle of Blues" – 4:56
- "O Maria" – 3:59
- "Sing It Again" – 4:19
- "Static" – 11:20
- Includes hidden track "Diamond Bollocks" (which comes in at 5:18). In the UK, this song is allotted its own track number.
There are a variety of bonus tracks on non-U.S. pressings of the album. "Runners Dial Zero", "Halo of Gold", "Black Balloon", and "Electric Music and the Summer People" (a re-recording of an Odelay era B-side) each appear on select international versions.
- Beck – guitar, harmonica, piano, glockenspiel, vocals, producer
- Elliot Caine – trumpet
- David Campbell – arranger, conductor, viola
- Larry Corbett – cello
- Warren Klein – sitar, tamboura
- Bob Ludwig – mastering
- David Ralicke – flute, trombone
- Nigel Godrich – producer, mixing
- Smokey Hormel – guitar, percussion, background vocals, cuica
- Joey Waronker – percussion, drums, synthesizer drums
- Robert Fisher – art direction
- Justin Meldal-Johnsen – bass, percussion, background vocals
- Roger Manning – synthesizer, keyboards, harpsichord, background vocals
- John Sorenson – assistant engineer
- Charlie Gross – photography
- Autumn de Wilde – photography
- "Grammy Awards: Best Alternative Music Performance". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- AllMusic credits entry for Mutations
- "Ask Billboard". Billboard. 2008-07-18. Archived from the original on 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Mutations - Beck". Allmusic.
- Phipps, Keith (2002-04-19). "Beck: Mutations". The A.V. Club.
- Browne, David (1998-10-30). "Mutations Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "Top Pop Albums". Los Angeles Times. December 3, 1998. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- "Album Reviews - Mutations". NME. September 29, 1998. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Lieberman, Neil (1998-11-01). "Mutations - Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
- Christgau, Robert. "CG: Artist 113". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
- Brackett, Nathan (2002-11-27). "Mutations". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Allmusic review for the track "Cold Brains"