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BWW Album Review: Lena Hall's OBSESSED: BECK Falls Flat

BWW Album Review: Lena Hall's OBSESSED: BECK Falls Flat
Cover art courtesy of SKB Records.

For the ninth entry in her awe-inspiring 12 EP series OBSESSED, Lena Hall pays homage to the person that the Hipster movement appropriated its fashion and peculiarities from, singer-songwriter Beck. On OBSESSED: BECK, Hall offers up four songs from the quirky and much-admired musician. And while her vocals are brilliant - as always - this particular EP falls flat.

Like a few other collections in the series, Beck is an artist that I have absolutely no nostalgia for. In fact, prior to the EP, I had only heard one of these songs before. Unlike others in the series, Hall's iterations of Beck's music didn't enthrall me or inspire me to track down the originals while thoroughly loving her recreations. But, I don't blame Hall or her vocals; Justin Craig on guitar and keyboards; Matt Duncan on bass, keyboards, and saxophone; or Brian Fishler on drums and percussion. Collectively, their work is as energetic and vibrant as it has been on the other EPs. Simply put, these songs themselves just don't speak to me.

Beck's lyrics sung by Hall did lead me to give them more attention than when he lets them slip from his mouth, but I still don't find them interesting or satisfying. His music, while often unpredictable in some regards, is so ingrained in his set style that its idiosyncrasies are expected. This makes the intelligently designed artistry of the melodies and the rhythms feel mundane and trivial to the listener. Ultimately, this creates a series of songs that feel like they lack levels, so this collection, despite the best intentions and otherwise dazzling performances of Hall and her band, sound almost monotonous.

For purists who will want the full series and for fans of Beck and his music, Lena Hall's OBSESSED: BECK is a must own. For casual fans of Beck and people who love indie rock through the lens of American singer-songwriters, it'll probably be an EP that is a gem in their collections too. But, if Beck did nothing for you when he sang his own music, this EP may not excite or move you either.

Lena Hall's OBSESSED: BECK was released by SKB Records and can be purchased at www.LenaHallObsessed.com. The EP is also available on all digital and streaming platforms.

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