Visit Beck.com to listen to a whole bunch of new material. When you load the page, there’s a boombox in the upper right corner where you can skip from song to song and listen to a couple of unreleased tracks plus three songs from Guerolito, an album of Guero remixes, which includes tracks by Adrock, Mario C, el-P and Diplo. You can also click on Discobox, then Unreleased Tracks to hear one additional song.
Meanwhile, Jesse Jarnow at PopMatters has an interesting take on Beck’s Scientology. Jarrow claims that Beck’s affiliation with the much-maligned religion is nothing new, and he even goes so far as to argue that Beck’s unusual beliefs have probably contributed to his unique musical approaches.
Certainly Scientology has nothing in it that’s more absurd than Christianity’s supernatural family psychodrama, Mormonism’s missing tablets, Hinduism’s elaborate pantheon or Judaism’s fantastical war god who rains plagues from the sky, to name a few belief systems that stretch credulity. And whatever else religion does, it certainly seems to inspire artists. So I suppose one could go looking for traces of Scientology in Beck’s music, though there doesn’t seem to be anything overt.
In any case, for those of us who have loved his music for many years, it’s reassuring that Scientology is not something brand new that’s likely to reshape Beck’s art, but is rather a longstanding influence. What is new in Beck’s life, as Jarrow points out, is that he’s now a father and husband. Whether that contributed to what many have described as a certain inconsequentiality to Guero, his latest record, is an open question.