by Casey Moffitt
photo by Peter Hapak
There is nothing about Beck that fits the blueprint of a modern-day pop star. Gangly and pasty with the vocal range of about half an octave, Beck had a high mountain to climb. But scale that peak he has, and he’s stayed perched on the summit for more than 20 years. He’s done it by writing quirky songs and finding sticky rhythms that grab your attention and don’t let go. They’re not aggressive. They’re not even danceable in many cases. Beck’s talent lies in taking these patterns, adding a ton of bells and whistles, and layering on top just enough melody to create songs that come together in his own peculiar way. The recipe is a disaster on paper, but Beck somehow finds a way to make it work and create something that is all his own. His music doesn’t fit a tried and true blueprint. And that’s the reason why it works so well.