From 2003-2005 Beck’s album “Guero” has evolved the definition of what an album should be.
“Guero,” was Beck’s sixth major release and is his best album in terms of commercial sales and chart position. The album was spread online in its unfinished form in late 2004. It was officially released by Interscope in 2005. This release contained most of the tracks from the 2004 release and a few new songs. The album was also released as a deluxe CD/DVD edition. This version came with seven bonus tracks, a surround sound mix and interactive video art to accompany every song. “Guero” also was released as “Guerolito,” which featured remixes by Diplo, Adrock and Boards of Canada. Along with these versions are the several unauthorized versions that float around the Internet.
All of this is a part of Beck’s master vision to make albums to not only be heard but also seen as well. The vision is to allow albums to be redone by listeners to their own tune.
This not only is an innovation in the form of albums, but also creates a new avenue for revenue in record sales. Imagine a multi-platinum album being released 20 times in 20 unique formats, that all have their own vibe to them. Not only is 20 times the money being produced but groundbreaking innovations in music as well.
Beck’s outlook on albums is revolutionary to the business and music. In a world where songs are toasted around computers through illegal downloading that has no boundaries, Beck’s idea offers remedy. Would it be so wrong if an electronica artist were to download an album from the country realm and mash the two together? The result is quite possibly a new genre that would breathe sweet air into the body of music.
Music is too universal and must always be progressing in new forms and ideas. Without progressions music would become nothing more than another social shackle. The idea of music is freedom. It cannot be contained and must be added to in order to flourish.
The way to keep the machine going is to take risks, and be an entrepreneur of song. Beck is an entrepreneur that is feeding the righteous evolution.
Beck is no stranger to musical experimentation. When he signed with Geffen records, he was offered the terms that would allow him to release independent albums. A few years ago, Beck put a remix project on the web where people could make their own versions of the posted tracks. Beck filmed low-budget videos for all the songs on the album and is planning on putting all of the videos together to create a visual version of the record for the Internet. On Beck’s next release, “The Information”, he will push for innovations in albums once again. No CD cover will have the same design. The album is going to come with stickers (each album having a different set). The idea is to give listeners a visual experience in designing their own album cover.
With increasing ability to share knowledge throughout the world, the spreading of music is inevitable. The very machine that created the music now wants to stop the mass spiraling. The entire industry has to evolve with music due to the innovations like Beck’s and Web sites like MySpace. Artists can spread their music and get their name out without having to sign a record deal. The only thing that is a certainty is that music must always have room to evolve.