I’ve steadfastly refused to use iLounge/Backstage as a music soapbox in the past, but I’m making an exception for Beck’s Guero. This isn’t the cover of the Deluxe Edition version I have here, but I daresay that the album in the photo represents the best way any music lover could spend $9.99 (the standard CD’s price at Best Buy) right now. Yes, that’s $9.99, the price of an iTunes album download, for a real CD with real CD-quality tracks.
While I admire his musical talent to the nth degree, Beck has been on-and-off for me for years. Midnite Vultures? On. Mutations and Sea Change? Off. Odelay? On. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack? On in a huge way. From my perspective, the guy’s best work has been in collaboration with the Dust Brothers (they, of Fight Club soundtrack fame, amongst many other more impressive feats), and now Guero repeats/enhances that track record. Que Ondo Guero is my favorite, but virtually every track on the disc is excellent, and worthy of the high-bitrate encoding I gave it for iPod listening.
The Deluxe Edition ($19.99 at Best Buy) includes a DVD with surround sound 5.1 mixes and videos. Worth getting? For me, yes. For you? Depends on the hi-fi equipment you have. I’d discuss it more, but I have an album that I need to listen to a few more times. Do yourself a favor and check it out.