Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, April 22, 1999

Spin magazine
"Mutations," title of Beck's '98 release, describes his career.

Beck is back,
but which one?

Star-Bulletin staff


You gotta love a guy who can make a song out of lyrics like: "In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey/butane in my veins so I'm out to cut the junkie/with the plastic eyeballs, spraypaint the vegetables/dogfood stalls with the beefcake pantyhose ..."

The last time Beck was in town he seemed to be just another beautiful loser. His first hit, "Loser," was so devilishly wicked, so good, so catchy, it seemed to hail a one-hit wonder. So the Meat Puppets got all the publicity at that 1994 double-bill concert at After Dark.

Beck has gone on since to delight and confound critics and fans alike. The hip-hop poet built on his "Loser" success with the 1996 disc "Odelay," telling us "Two Turntables and a Microphone" is "Where It's At." And serving up more hits with "Devil's Haircut" and "The New Pollution."

For the effort, Rolling Stone and Spin magazines both named Beck Artist of the Year in 1996, to which the low-key icon replied something like, "It must have been a bad year for music."

And just when critics and fans thought they had this wonderboy pegged, he changed his tune with 1998's "Mutations," abandoning his raps and noise for soft melodies, a guitar and real singing.

Critics called foul and summed up the thoughtful disc as "boring."

It's anyone's guess which Beck will show up at Andrew's Amphitheater Saturday -- all the more reason to go. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28.50, plus applicable service charge, available at Radio Free Music Center, Tower Records, Tower Video Kapiolani, Hungry Ear Records, Jelly's and the University of Hawaii Campus Center Box Office.

Information: 956-9958.

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