Beck – The New Pollution

When the recently third-rate 40s actor Sonny Tufts was reincarnated in the late 90s as popular, albeit mostly untalented (except in “Dogma”) actor Ben Affleck, they got more than they bargained for: a copy of Beck’s “New Pollution” single. Because not only did they get the excellent title track that appears on Odelayheehoo, they also got hispes (because “herpes” is sexist – someone actually said this to me one time) and the much more dangerous “Richard’s Hairpiece” – Aphex Twin’s unbelievable unlistenable (in a BAD WAY) remix of “Devil’s Haircut” that aims to destroy everything that is good not only in the song but in the musical world and makes me wish music would just end. But luckily they also got “Electric Music and the Summer People”, which, with its low synth buzz, casio drumbeat, strummed acoustic guitar and bouncy Beach Boysey vocals singing your usual Beck abstractions in a less creative that usual rhymin’ way (“sunstroke rivals / recycling bibles”) before descending into stupid electronic bleeps at the end that cures at least the herpes, if not Richard’s Hairpiece. Also included in that act of reanimation was the “Mario C. And Mickey P. Remix” of “The New Pollution” that replaces the cool drum beat with an almost as cool drum beat, and adds some Middle Eastern influences to make it vaguely Arabian and delicious – kinda like falafel! There’s also the the clanging, more or less stupid “Lemonade” that sounds like a more-normal-than-usual song from the “Golden Feelings” era, with the exception of the chorus which gets softer and better produced all of sudden. Lastly, there’s “Thunderpeel” and thank god for that. “Thunderpeel! Thunderpeel” they cried, “Thunderpeel! save us with your catchy guitar riff and euphonic screaming!” See, euphonic screaming is a good thing, and maybe if we do it enough (as long as we do it euphonically) Ben Affleck will go away, taking the spirit of Sonny Tufts with him.

But really, if you could peel thunder…that’d be pretty cool. We’ve got one available elsewherer, two losers, and three gooders. The good ones are worth about 1.5 each, TNP gets it one more, and the losers combine to be worth point 5. Thus is how the world of ratings goes. See you next time on True Hollywood Stories!

6/10

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