Beck Song Reader (CD)


Various Artists

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Amoeba Review

07/28/2014

Ever the iconoclast, Beck’s last “album” was something called Song Reader, which consisted only of sheet music written by the musician. Though it has been performed publicly since its 2012 release, there’s never been a proper physical release until now. Beck’s music serves as a mere signpost for the musicians involved to follow, but each is allowed to wander as they see fit. Moses Sumney’s stripped-down, soulful “Title of This Song” reminds us of how strong a songwriter Beck is underneath all the dazzling production, whereas on the other hand, Fun.’s typically overblown pop-rock is tempered somewhat by Beck’s subtlety on “Please Leave a Light on When You Go,” coming off like something from a rock music helmed by Beck (which is probably something that should exist). Of course, some of the artists included are more obvious fits than others—Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, for one, whose rendition of “The Wolf Is On the Hill” is simpler and stronger than most of his own recent work. Jack White’s country-rocking duet “I’m Down” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Lazaretto. And Beck himself sounds transcendent on the ethereal pop of “Heaven’s Ladder.” Versions by Sparks, Jarvis Cocker and Norah Jones offer genuine, joyful surprises. A handful of tracks don’t work quite so well, but overall Song Reader hangs together beautifully, besting expectations of how strong a collection of such disparate artists covering an artist as idiosyncratic as Beck could be. Truthfully, it’s remarkable.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Title of This Song
Moses Sumney 04:55
2.
Please Leave A Light On When You Go
Fun. 02:42
3.
The Wolf Is On The Hill
Tweedy 02:22
4.
Just Noise
Norah Jones 02:00
5.
Last Night You Were A Dream
Lord Huron 03:23
6.
Saint Dude
Bob Forrest 04:06
7.
I’m Down
Jack White 03:04
8.
Heaven’s Ladder
Beck 03:18
9.
Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard
Juanes 03:27
10.
Sorry
Laura Marling 02:05
11.
Eyes That Say "I Love You"
Jarvis Cocker 03:19
12.
Rough On Rats
David Johansen 02:48
13.
Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings
Jason Isbell 05:11
14.
The Last Polka
Marc Ribot 04:33
15.
Old Shanghai
Eleanor Friedberger 02:55
16.
Why Did You Make Me Care?
Sparks 04:40
17.
America, Here’s My Boy
Swamp Dogg 03:05
18.
We All Wear Cloaks
Jack Black 02:30
19.
Do We? We Do
Loudon Wainwright III 02:52
20.
Mutilation Rag
Gabriel Kahane , yMusic 02:08

BUY
$13.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
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