For those in their teens and under, Beck may seem like a white dude churning out soft rock for rising dads. To be fair, how can you blame them? At the Grammys, Beck appeared relatively contained, strumming his acoustic guitar onstage and slowly stepping up the stairs for his somehoe-notorious Album of the Year Grammy win for Morning Phase. See him live, though, and all misconceptions are put to shame. Beck is the infinitely cool man who jogs through genres with the ease of a marathon runner. He’s sprinting to “E-Pro”, sliding in funk in “Sexx Laws”, and rapping up a storm on “Where It’s At”, not to mention slicing things up with digital spunk on electronic numbers like “1000bpm”.
So it’s with personal joy and excitement for those unfamiliar with Beck’s true catalog that his brand new song, “Dreams”, comes swinging like a blast from the not-so-distant past. His last rock record, 2008’s Modern Guilt, was full of underrated gems, but his new number is all too ready for the spotlight.
The funky rollick of “Dreams” is the opposite of what the title implies. There’s sassy electro-bliss that keeps sweat beading, switching gears halfway to heavier garage rock, both begging listeners to take to the dance floor no matter which they prefer as the occasional background coos and vocal layers keep things warm. Sometimes it sounds like JUNGLE, other times like MGMT. It’s there right in the beginning when the first lyric sees him tug his notes upwards, sliding up the scale just as his vocals seem like they may stick within the PC folk of last year’s Morning Phase. That’s no jab at the Grammy-winning record; it’s a loud hurrah for the riff genius reclaiming his title on what we can only hope is his next.