Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The 1990s as Musical Allegory

I like the wit of the first paragraph from this Pitchfork review of the Odelay re-release:

In Spin's 20 Years of Alternative Music, Beck is called "a generation's consolation prize after the death of Kurt Cobain." Chronologically, it's an apt assessment: Cobain killed himself on April 5, 1994; "Loser" peaked at #10 on the Billboard charts three weeks later. But back in the mid-90s, Beck was practically Cobain's polar opposite. Whereas Kurt exuded raw power with every phlegm-spewing roar, Beck rapped in monotone (when he wasn't crooning like a sleep-deprived folkie). Kurt hunched and staggered; Beck pranced, did splits, and mimicked robots. Kurt raged against a doomed world with a vitriolic mix of anger and sincerity; Beck took the piss out of a doomed world with a mix of irony and showmanship. Admittedly, they were both known to wear flannel shirts from time to time.

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