11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Beck’s 14th full-length album takes its name from a special feature found in the classic 1979 video game Asteroids. “I remember this point where you’re gonna get killed in the game,” he tells Apple Music, “and [hitting] this button would make you disappear and reappear somewhere safe. Just in general, I think we could all use that button.”

Hyperspace finds the pioneering singer-songwriter joining with Pharrell Williams (who co-wrote and co-produced seven of its 11 tracks) for a set of surrealist synth-pop that feels worlds away from anywhere, let alone the directness of 2017’s Colors. Where that record felt like it might burst at the seams, Beck luxuriates in negative space and ambiguity here. “Stratosphere”—which features well-hidden backup vocals from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin—sounds like it was recorded at that exact altitude, its synths coming and going like condensation on glass. The equally haunting “Uneventful Days” feels like a message from the in-between. “I couldn’t quite place what it was,” he says of the song. “It’s like those moments in the aftermath of a period of time. Like a new job in a new town. You’re standing in an empty apartment, staring out the window at a palm tree.”

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

Beck’s 14th full-length album takes its name from a special feature found in the classic 1979 video game Asteroids. “I remember this point where you’re gonna get killed in the game,” he tells Apple Music, “and [hitting] this button would make you disappear and reappear somewhere safe. Just in general, I think we could all use that button.”

Hyperspace finds the pioneering singer-songwriter joining with Pharrell Williams (who co-wrote and co-produced seven of its 11 tracks) for a set of surrealist synth-pop that feels worlds away from anywhere, let alone the directness of 2017’s Colors. Where that record felt like it might burst at the seams, Beck luxuriates in negative space and ambiguity here. “Stratosphere”—which features well-hidden backup vocals from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin—sounds like it was recorded at that exact altitude, its synths coming and going like condensation on glass. The equally haunting “Uneventful Days” feels like a message from the in-between. “I couldn’t quite place what it was,” he says of the song. “It’s like those moments in the aftermath of a period of time. Like a new job in a new town. You’re standing in an empty apartment, staring out the window at a palm tree.”

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

3.6 out of 5
135 Ratings

135 Ratings

Emilio Ver ,

Art vs. Artist

I am a bit dismayed to see the inabiity of listeners to talk about the work rather than the artist. Two separate entities. The work is the work-- it is here now and will be here after Beck is dead. It has a life of its own within the greater world of music. Beck is an artist and a person who makes choices. Some you will agree with, some you won't.
Not a fan of Scientology at all, but it is silly to say that ipso-facto I cannot like Beck's music. I never felt compelled to go to a Scientologist branch and turn myself in after enjoying a Beck song, and what he does with his money is his business. You might think it a fools errand to give to Scientology but that is Becks cross to bear or cause to support.
Most artists are flawed, some glaringly (think Michael Jackson, R Kelly, and probably just about any other artist you can think of). If you decide to base what you listen to upon the moral character of the artist, your choices will be skimpy indeed.
I say let the art and the artist be judged with respect to their categories, Beck to humanity (he should do OK on that count), his music to Music. Personally, I don't have the time for so much judging as there are far more pressing problems in this world than Beck's choice of worship.

Now to the music. Upon first listen to only 3 of the tracks, I am intrigued but not hooked in. Lyrically there appears to be some interesting mining of daily life uneventful days and Hyperspace seems like it may be speaking to the rapidity of the world we are in and as one ages, the sense of life's passage in general. May add more when the rest of this releases.

One last note...hate hearing about old Beck being better. anyone who practices in an artistic field knows that it's all a process. you need to work things out, experiment to find the song and the music. You are bound to have some unsuccessful attempts. The fact is most art is just that- but every so often something luminous arrives and shows itself. And how that is received will depend on each listener/viewer/reader. It is this fact that makes art special. True artists are the ones who persevere through successful attempts and especially unsuccessful attempts, to arrive at the expression of their personal truth. I applaud them for it and I am happy to pay a small fee for the enjoyment such works provide.

CasperJim ,

Another Evolution

Initially it felt poppy. Loving it more and more. Beck’s genius: he never ceases to evolve. Don’t hate the change on first take. Take a few listens on a good pair of headphones: his magic is inside

Coach Lonster XVIII ,

Sounds Great

Old Beck, New Beck...it’s all good.

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