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Modern Guilt

Beck

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iTunes Review

A compact 33-minute collection from Beck and producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton (Gnarls Barkley) that combines Beck’s shyest shoegazer tendencies with his interest in sonic manipulations, Modern Guilt manages to come across both modest and expansive. Its simple melodies immediately grip, while the production often drifts into dreamlike textures where haunting backing vocals (supplied in part by Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power) add to the supernatural glaze. Strip these songs of their eloquent beats and playful keyboards and catchy, clever folk tunes would emerge. Though he has played himself off over the years as a slacker prince / stoner with a strong stream-of-consciousness streak, Beck supplies his songs with plenty of quick wit and wisdom. But in the end, it’s the sound that counts. “Orphans” evokes the sweetness of the Beach Boys. The title track dips into a psychedelic waltz. “Soul of a Man” includes dive-bomb guitars and flirts with hard rock. “Profanity Prayers” attacks the dancefloor with a manic, rushed, overpacked subway car rhythm. “Volcano” ends things on a suitably restrained, downcast note. Beck expresses himself while hiding in plain view.

Customer Reviews

Modern Guilt.

This is a very decent album from an incredible musician. Beck is easily one of the most influentual musical artists of our modern time, but on Modern Guilt, he only makes the listener aware of that some of the time. The first four songs are remarkable, just as Beck should be, but songs like "Youthless" and "Soul of a Man" seem a bit incomplete, as if they never quite take off, however, they are quite enjoyable none-the-less. Also, in Beck's defense, he said in an interview that he was trying to make an album that sounded like he recorded it at "two in the morning after weeks of trying." It does. "Replica," in my humble opinion, is hard to listen to, but the experimentation on Beck's part is respected. Overall, he keeps us listening and interested in what he is doing. He's made a short album that's just short enough to be excellent, but not long enough to be epic. Just short enough to be painless, and not long enough to get boring. Only time will tell what this jester will pull out of his sleeves next.

Beck + Danger Mouse = Blow Your Mind

My only complaint is that it's over in 31:26! I hope these two geniuses plan on doing several albums together like he did with Nigel Godrich (Mutations, Sea Change, Guero & The Information). Beck has definitely found a new soul mate with the way these tracks sound. Another masterpiece without a doubt.

I Love Beck, and don't love this album

as a long time Beck fan i am sad to say that this album is pretty poor. for starters i am not a fan of "DangerMouse" i find his production murky, muddy, and just borring. I found all of these songs to be about the same. the tempo doesnt change much, the songs lack depth, and after a few listens it is clear they are mearly a bassline, some over reverbed dingy drums, and a guitar or bleep here and there. Drum patterns do not have fills or even change for the durration of the songs. it is often hard to hear the melodys because they are so quietly mixed, and there is just a lot of same sounding stuff here. This is Becks third album of quite simple songs, and it is his weakest. perhaps under a different producer these songs would have been a bit fresher sounding. but as they stand on this album they are fairly blah.

Biography

Born: July 8, 1970 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Initially pegged as something as a voice of a generation when "Loser" turned into a smash crossover success, Beck did wind up crystallizing much of the postmodern ruckus of the '90s alternative explosion, but in unexpected ways. Based in the underground anti-folk and noise rock worlds, Beck encompassed all manner of modern music, drawing in hip-hop, blues, trash rock, pop, soul, lounge music...pretty much any found sound or vinyl dug up from a dusty crate, blurring boundaries and encapsulating how...
Full Bio

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