I’ve always been a fan of heartbreak and break-up albums. Don’t misunderstand, this is not some melancholic confession of mine, no, just a statement of preference – at least one of my music/album preferences. Perhaps it’s the emotions of that kind of state, the way it claws and clings on to creativity, brining out something so raw and real. Or maybe, it’s just the relatability factor. We’ve all had our hearts ripped open and apart at least once in our lives, haven’t we? And there is something so comforting in knowing just that – that we’ve all been there.
There is hope hidden in that kind of sung-sadness.
Beck – Mutations (1998)
Album Review – March 7, 2011
Beck’s Mutations is a carnival ride of emotions and musical stylings. Listening to it, from start-to-finish, feels like a quick trip through all the levels of loss – denial, blame, anger, sadness, and (hopefully) closure. There’s pain in each and every melody, but there’s redemption and strength strung throughout, as well. While listening, I feel myself passing through the emotional push and pull by way of a country twang, of some rock roots, some blues, a little Latin, a little swing, a bit of The Beatles, a bit of Pet Sounds, all mixed up with some Sonic Youth.
“Nobody’s Fault But My Own” is the one that tears me up, every time, no matter what the state of my heart is. I feel all of it, and have felt all of it before. Vividly. The need to blame the one who broke us, anyone else we can point at (“blame the devil for the things you do“), and blame ourselves – usually the most.
“Diamond Bollocks” is brilliant and unforgettable. A standout, mood swing song that comes at the end of the album, yet it feels like the start of something else. That feeling of looking back while moving forward, all at the same time, like the lyrics:
“looking back at some dead world that looks so new.”
As I listen I feel as if I have travelled a cross-country journey of emotions. I fall apart, I pick up the pieces, I put myself back together and then hit repeat/replay and do it all over again.