The Information

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The Information
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 3, 2006 (2006-10-03)
GenreAlternative rock
ProducerNigel Godrich
Beck chronology
The Information
Modern Guilt
Singles from The Information
  1. "Nausea"
    Released: August 29, 2006
  2. "Cellphone's Dead"
    Released: October 2, 2006
  3. "Think I'm in Love"
    Released: 2006

The Information is the tenth studio album by American musician Beck, released on October 3, 2006 by Interscope Records. It was produced and mixed by Nigel Godrich, who Beck had previously recorded Mutations (1998) and Sea Change (2002) with. Recording took place from 2003 to 2006, with Beck concurrently working on 2005's Guero with The Dust Brothers.[1][2] The album received positive reviews from critics and made several publications' year-end lists. This is the first album by Beck that is over 1 hours long.



Before its release, Beck said the album was not a "stripped down" record, in contrast with his previous Godrich collaborations Mutations and Sea Change.[3] According to Beck, "Nigel [Godrich] said he wanted to do a hip-hop record" before they began work on the album. "And in a way it is, and in a way it isn't. It has hip-hop songs, and my previous work with him was Mutations and Sea Change, these sort of introspective records, and so this new one is sort of bringing those two worlds together."[4]

In an interview with the BBC,[5] Beck said the album had been "painful" to make:

It started out painless, and ended up being painful. It's as if we made the album once, and we made it again, and we made it a third time. We started the record in 2003, and we got together annually, the producer [Nigel Godrich] and I. We combed over everything, and got rid of the things we were tired of, the things that seemed trite.

The first single in North America was "Nausea", which was officially released to radio on September 5, 2006.[6] The first single in the UK was "Cellphone's Dead", with an official video directed by Michel Gondry.[7] "Think I'm in Love" went to US radio as the second and final single and became a Modern Rock and Triple A radio hit, garnering renewed interest in The Information.

On February 27, 2007, a "deluxe version" of the album was released. It contained the original album plus three songs only available internationally, six remixes, a complete printing of the lyrics, a DVD with all the studio-released videos plus bonus non-studio-released videos of "Nausea" and "Cellphone's Dead", and four different sticker sheets for the album cover.

Music videos[edit]

Some copies of the album include a bonus DVD of specially filmed music videos, one for each track on the record.[3] In the Wired interview,[8] Beck explained the making of these videos, which would also appear on video-sharing site YouTube:

We filmed a series of very low-budget, homemade videos for all the songs on the record. We got a bunch of cameras and a $100 video mixer off eBay and shot 15 silly, impromptu videos against a green screen. We even invited our friends and family into the studio to be a part of the action – my mother-in-law did the lighting, and my son and nieces and nephews are running around acting crazy. It was just a complete free-for-all, done on the fly. We're putting all the videos together right now with the idea of having a visual version of the record that we'll put on the Internet. I'm totally curious to see how the videos will add to the experience of listening to the album. Or maybe they'll actually detract from the experience. That would be funny.


Stickers included with the album
Decorated albums

The album was issued with a blank sleeve and booklet and one of four different sheets of stickers for fans to make their own album art. Beck explained to Wired magazine[8] he wanted no two copies of the CD cover to be the same: "The artwork is going to be customizable. The idea is to provide something that calls for interactivity." However, because the album art concept was seen as a gimmick to bolster retail sales, The Information was deemed ineligible to enter the UK Albums Chart.[9]


Formats and promotion[edit]

For The Information, Beck made low-budget videos to accompany every song, packaged the CD with sheets of stickers so buyers could customize the cover and leaked tracks and videos on his web site months ahead of the album. "We're moving into a time when the song and the imagery and video are all able to exist as one thing," says Beck. "It's not even technically an audio thing anymore. It's something else." He also remarked, "I've been trying to do something like this for the last three albums," having released several versions of his previous album Guero, including a deluxe CD/DVD package and a remix album called Guerolito. "The conventional ways aren't working like they used to, so now there's a willingness to try new things."[2] Interscope would go on to release a deluxe edition of the album in 2007.[1] It included a DVD containing the videos created collaboratively with producer Nigel Godrich and also a full disc of remixes that consisted of three songs remixed on six tracks.[10]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[12]
The A.V. ClubA−[13]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[14]
The Guardian3/5 stars[15]
The Independent5/5 stars[16]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)B+[17]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[20]
Spin3.5/5 stars[21]

The album reached number 7 on the US Billboard 200, number 6 in Canada and number 31 on Australia's ARIA Albums Chart. As of July 2008, The Information has sold 434,000 copies in the United States.[22] With listeners accustomed to hearing a brand new side of Beck on each album up to 2002's Sea Change, critics would describe his works afterwards as being "Beck-like", meaning they sounded more like revisits instead of reinventions.[23] The New York Times would credit the album's dark themes as a reflection of the world's condition around him at the time, and felt that Beck had made that apparent on the videos released alongside the album. They felt its music was a 1960s pop-infused sound with a more driven message.[24] The English webzine Drowned in Sound released a review that suggested The Information was a mature and honest attempt at a multiple genre production without recreating what he has already accomplished. They praised Beck's variation in vocal style, ability to create a logical flow of tracks, and reflection of his unpredictable styles.[25] The Village Voice credited Beck as being as detached as he has ever been and that the band was far more energetic then he. They highlighted his work with Nigel Godrich as being even more sample-heavy than his Dust Brother collaborations, and felt that the album ultimately suffered from Beck's disconnected approach.[26] Pitchfork wrote a review for the deluxe edition of the album, which they felt was mostly a cash-in on an overlooked album, but they did give respect to its full disc of remixes, which included covers by big name performers.[27]

Rolling Stone magazine named it the 24th best album of 2006, while Spin magazine ranked it number 10 on their 40 Best Albums of 2006.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Beck Hansen, except where noted.

1."Elevator Music"3:38
2."Think I'm in Love"3:20
3."Cellphone's Dead"4:46
4."Strange Apparition"3:48
5."Soldier Jane" (Hansen, Nigel Godrich)3:59
7."New Round"3:26
8."Dark Star"3:45
9."We Dance Alone"3:57
10."No Complaints"3:00
11."1000 BPM"2:32
12."Motorcade" (Hansen, Godrich)4:15
13."The Information"3:46
14."Movie Theme" (Hansen, Godrich)3:53
15."The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton" (Hansen, Godrich)10:36

Deluxe version[edit]

Disc one contains the original 15-track album re-sequenced with "New Round" moved from track 7 to 14, "Dark Star" moved from track 8 to 7 and "Movie Theme" moved from track 14 to 8. The disc also includes all three Japanese bonus tracks from above for a total of 18 tracks.

Disc two – Remixes
1."Cellphone's Dead" (Ellen Allien remix)5:37
2."Nausea Pirates Mix" (Bumblebeez remix)2:28
3."Dark Star" (David Andrew Sitek remix)4:08
4."Nausea" (The Chap remix)3:55
5."Cellphone's Dead" (Jamie Lidell Limited Minutes remix)4:32
6."Cellphone's Dead Villalobos Entlebuch RMX" (Ricardo Villalobos remix)14:38

The third disc contains the following music videos. Most of them homemade by Beck.

Sample credits[edit]

  • "The Horrible Fanfare" section uses a sample of "Cellphone's Dead".
  • "Landslide" section uses a sample from the song "Requiem pour un con" by the French singer Serge Gainsbourg.
  • "Exoskeleton" section contains dialogue spoken by Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze.



Chart (2006) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[28] 31
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[29] 56
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[30] 22
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[31] 50
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[32] 6
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[33] 15
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[34] 58
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[35] 39
French Albums (SNEP)[36] 40
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[37] 78
Italian Albums (FIMI)[38] 29
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[39] 37
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[40] 20
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[41] 26
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[42] 32
US Billboard 200[43] 7
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[44] 3

The United Kingdom's Official Charts Company deemed The Information ineligible to chart, as they felt its customizable sticker album art gave it "an unfair advantage" in terms of album sales.[45]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[46] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[47] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


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  3. ^ a b "Beck reveals all about new album". NME. Retrieved 2006-08-08.
  4. ^ James Montgomery (June 26, 2006). "Beck Giving Fans Sticky Fingers With Quasi-Hip-Hop Album". London: MTV News. Retrieved 2006-08-09.
  5. ^ "Beck's 'Painful' Album". BBC. October 2, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-16.
  6. ^ "Beck Reveals More Information". FMQB. Retrieved 2006-08-15.
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  8. ^ a b Eric Steur (September 2006). "The Infinite Album" (Interview). 14.09. Wired. Retrieved 2006-10-16.
  9. ^ "New Beck Album Denied U.K. Chart Eligibility". Billboard. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  10. ^ Patrin, Nate. "Beck: The Information: Deluxe Edition". March 12, 2007. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Reviews for The Information by Beck". Metacritic. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  12. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Information – Beck". AllMusic. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  13. ^ Phipps, Keith (October 3, 2006). "Beck: The Information". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  14. ^ Hermes, Will (October 3, 2006). "The Information". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (September 29, 2006). "Beck, The Information". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  16. ^ Gill, Andy (September 29, 2006). "Album: Beck". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (April 2007). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  18. ^ Pattison, Louis (September 22, 2006). "Beck: The Information". NME. Archived from the original on January 17, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  19. ^ Dombal, Ryan (October 4, 2006). "Beck: The Information". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  20. ^ Fricke, David (September 30, 2006). "The Information". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  21. ^ Anderson, Kyle (November 2006). "Back to the Lab". Spin. 22 (11): 99. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  22. ^ "Ask Billboard". Billboard. 2008-07-18. Archived from the original on 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  23. ^ McCarthy, Sean. "A Strange Invitation: Ranking the Beck Albums". PopMatters. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  24. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Beck "The Information"". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  25. ^ Driver, Mike. "Beck The Information". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  26. ^ Walters, Barry. "Disinformation Society". Village Voice. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  27. ^ Patrin, Nate. "Beck The Information: Deluxe Edition". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-04-04.
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  29. ^ " – Beck – The Information" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  30. ^ " – Beck – The Information" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  31. ^ " – Beck – The Information" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  32. ^ "Beck Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  33. ^ " – Beck – The Information". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  34. ^ " – Beck – The Information" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  35. ^ "Beck: The Information" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  36. ^ " – Beck – The Information". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  37. ^ " – Beck – The Information" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  38. ^ " – Beck – The Information". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  39. ^ " – Beck – The Information". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  40. ^ " – Beck – The Information". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  41. ^ " – Beck – The Information". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  42. ^ " – Beck – The Information". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  43. ^ "Beck Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  44. ^ "Beck Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  45. ^ Goodman, Elizabeth. "U.K. Charts Discriminate Against Beck's Stickers". Rolling Stone.
  46. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Beck – The Information". Music Canada.
  47. ^ "American album certifications – Beck – The Information". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]