Endless Loop: We Live Again

beckHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“We Live Again” by Beck

Beck is one of those artists who for years, if you didn’t care for an album, you could simply wait for the next one, because it was bound to be a complete 180 from what preceded it, an exploration of and combination of different genre tropes in an attempt create something brand new. After a career spanning over two decades, he has kind of begun to settle into one of two different modes: sample-laden, hip-hop-inspired Beck and string-accompanied, somber Beck. They both have their distinct charms, though I’m still holding out for a honky-tonk, country punk rock Beck someday in the future (as evidenced by the fantastic “I Just Started Hating Some People Today,” a one-off single recorded with Jack White a few years ago).

Preferences aside, when he’s good, he’s good, and on 1998’s Mutations, Beck defied expectations, offering a collection of songs that pulled from folk rock, psychedelia, and bossa nova that was equal parts Serge Gainsbourg and Os Mutantes. It was a definite turn from the party sampler collage that was Odelay, but it solidified Beck as an eclectic artist, and made his subsequent releases events for a time.

While it’s hardly my favorite record by the man, the dreamy and wistful “We Live Again” is an absolute gem, a lush and gorgeous track featuring production by Nigel Godrich. The sorrowful tone therein reveals levels of the artist that had only been surface scratched before. Lyrically, it sounds like the lament of a man who has lost too much, searching for meaning in the meaningless, and eventually finding a form of acceptance in the inevitable and universal heartache of life. Paired with the airy and dreamlike music, warm strings and gentle harpsichord, “We Live Again” is a lovelorn lullaby adrift on an endless sea of memories.

“The end of the end. We live again. Oh I grow weary of the end.”

 

Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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