Beck Gets (Kind Of) Blue

With a revealing new album of mournful ballads, the fusion king reveals a whole different side

Amoeba music is a warehouse-size record store on Sunset Boulevard that is filled with lonely, unshaven guys in vintage T shirts and about half a million CDs. It is High Church for music geeks, and strolling through Amoeba with Beck--the wispy singer who has made a career out of fusing rap, rock, folk, funk, irony and earnestness--is like cruising the Vatican with the Pope. As Beck moves from the back-room blues section to the used vinyl, everyone sneaks a quick, reverent glance and returns to flipping through the racks, or at least pretending to flip through the racks. All eyes still...

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