17 August 2009

Dear Beck,

Here you are pushing forty and you're still doing cool shit like Record Club.

You take a group of your friends (including actor Giovanni Ribisi, producer-extraordinaire Nigel Godrich, and Icelandic musician Thorunn Magnusdottir), hang out and record most of the tracks from the classic Velvet Underground album: The Velvet Underground & Nico

Here's a great cover of "Run, Run, Run":

You see, Beck, the thing with successfully recording a cover song is to bring a fresh take to the original song without completely destroying it but at the same time without just simply re-recording the tune.

And with a highly influential and classic album like The Velvet Underground & Nico, you've got to get it just right.

And it works.

Beck, you and the rest of the Record Club bring a fresh and vibrant spin to these classic late-'60s songs. The keyboards are a fabulous modern touch to the music. And no offense against Maureen Tucker's solid but a-bit-too-simple drumming skills on the original record, but it's nice to hear some good fills, pace and excitement in the drumming on these casual recordings.

And that's another reason why these recordings shine, Beck.

The songs feel casual, relaxed, light, fun.

This isn't over-produced. You didn't over-complicate things. There is a real energetic, no-pressure vibe to these songs, like it was a group of music-lovers hanging out and recording tunes.

As you intended. And as it should be.

Well done, Beck! We hope to hear more soon.


Be sure to check out the Record Club covers of these Velvet Underground songs. "Sunday Morning" is fantastic, "All Tomorrow's Parties" is just as beautiful as the original, "Heroin" is amazingly frantic, "Waiting For My Man" is -- Well, you get the idea, they're all great covers. Give it a go! Groovy!

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