Music: Beck: You'll Never Guess What He's Up to This Time

THE PROBLEM WITH BEING FAMOUS for defying expectations is that eventually you can defy expectations only by not defying expectations. Which may explain why after nine albums and at least four career incarnations--presumptive one-hit wonder, exuberant hip-hop star, inscrutable avant-gardist and heartbroken folkie--Beck has decided it's time to give up the shape shifting. "In the past I spent a lot of time rejecting sounds that were similar to what I'd come up with before just to purposefully try to get away from anything familiar," says Beck, phoning from a Los Angeles recording studio. "But I guess at a certain point you...

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