Beck (born Bek David Campbell, July 8, 1970) is an American musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Beck's music - with its pop-junk culture collage of musical styles, obtuse, ironic lyrics, and post-modern arrangments incorporating samples, drum machines, live instrumentation and heady sound effects - was among the most idiosyncratic of 90's alternative rock. Some of Beck's most popular songs include "Loser", "Where It's At", "Debra", "Beautiful Way" and "Epro". His latest album, entitled The Information, was released in fall 2006 and followed by a short tour across the U.S.
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Beck has released a number of massive hit albums throughout his career including Odelay, Mutations and Midnite Vultures. After the album Midnite Vultures came Sea Change in 2002, another airy and emotional album with producer Nigel Godrich, which became Beck's first U.S. Top 10 album, reaching #8. The album was also met with critical acclaim, earning five stars from Rolling Stone and later placing second in the Pazz & Jop Critics Poll for 2002. Sea Change was conceptualized as an album with one unifying theme—the stages following the end of a relationship. The album also featured string arrangements by Beck's father David Campbell and a sonically dense mix reminiscient of his Mutations album. Although some radio singles were released, no commercial singles were made available to the public. The Sea Change tour featured The Flaming Lips as Beck's opening and backing band.
Beck has a number of B-sides and soundtrack-only songs as well, including "Midnite Vultures" (curiously, not on the album of the same name), a cover of The Korgis' "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" which appeared in the 2004 movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and David Bowie's Diamond Dogs from Moulin Rouge.
In September 2003, Beck returned to the studio to work on his sixth major-label album. The record, Guero, was produced by the Dust Brothers and Tony Hoffer and features a collaboration with Jack White of The White Stripes; it marked a return to Odelay-era sound. The album was released in March 2005 and enjoyed critical acclaim from most mainstream press, earning four stars from Playboy and Rolling Stone, as well as a "Critic's Choice" recognition from The New York Times. However, the album received a more lackluster response from Beck's indie-oriented fanbase, as shown by the low 6.6 (out of 10) score given by Pitchfork. Nonetheless, the album debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts, pushing 162,000 copies in the first week and giving Beck his best week ever in terms of commercial sales and chart position. After the release of Guero, the first single, "Epro" was well received by the mainstream rock community, and saw a large amount of play time. The second single, titled simply "Girl", is a bright, upbeat song appearing at first to be about summer love; however, a closer look at the lyrics reveals a darker side to the song. "Girl" received heavy airplay on various college radio stations. The third single was "Hell Yes".
Beck's 2006 album, The Information, was followed by a small North American Tour in the fall of that year.