[new beck songs]

BeckThink I’m in Love | Cell Phone’s Dead by Beck

Beck has a new album on the way, this one produced by Nigel Godrich, who also did Mutations and Sea Change. Two new tracks, complicatedly leaked and then retracted by Beck.com and Beck’s MySpace page, give a sense of what we’re in for.

Despite advance word that this was going to be a hip-hop album, the first leaked track, “Think I’m in Love,” is anything but. A melodic, mid-tempo love song of sorts, with spare production that sounds possibly incomplete, “Think I’m in Love” picks up where Sea Change left off: with a fragile psyche working its way back from a horrendous breakup. It’s pleasant enough, but I don’t think it’d make me turn my head if I didn’t know it was by Beck.

“Cell Phone’s Dead” is another matter entirely, reaching back to Beck’s old abstract raps over eclectic soundscapes. The funky bassline sounds like a sample from Herbie Hancock’s “Wiggle-Waggle,” off the Fat Albert Rotunda album, over which echoey percussion rattles around as Beck raps. But then comes the jungle break, full of lush sounds and hoots, so that the track is like a conceptual mashup of “Hell Yes” and “Nobody’s Fault but My Own,” with a pinch of Odelay jitters thrown in. Let’s hope the whole new album is this sonically interesting.