Beck's album-to-album wanderlust of styles and sentiments has never failed him, and "Guero" continues that history.

Beck's album-to-album wanderlust of styles and sentiments has never failed him, and "Guero" continues that history. Returning to the unflappable songwriting assistance and smoking beats of the Dust Brothers, Beck has left his previous album, the vulnerable "Sea Change," to the tide and catapulted back with a party. From hip-hop to Latin, from techno-savvy to the clever caterwauling of the multiplatinum "Odelay," "Guero" explores all of Beck's influences and revisits so many of his finer ideas. It's not the cheeky soul-funk orgy of "Midnite Vultures," but something more mature. First single "E-Pro" and cuts like "Go It Alone" and "Black Tamborine" are warm, easy-to-like jams, interlaced with songs like the tropicalia-infused "Missing" and folky "Emergency Exit." Beck has cropped his chops to tasteful freakouts and organized trains of thought. Plus, the phrase "my beat is correct" in "Hell Yes" is actually pretty funny.—KH

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