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Beck Song Reader Image
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Originally released in 2012 as a collection of sheet music, this studio recorded version includes vocals from Beck, Jack Black, Jarvis Cocker, Bob Forrest, Eleanor Friedberger, Fun., Jason Isbell, Gabriel Kahane, David Johansen, Norah Jones. Juanes, Lord Huron, Laura Marling, Marc Ribot,Originally released in 2012 as a collection of sheet music, this studio recorded version includes vocals from Beck, Jack Black, Jarvis Cocker, Bob Forrest, Eleanor Friedberger, Fun., Jason Isbell, Gabriel Kahane, David Johansen, Norah Jones. Juanes, Lord Huron, Laura Marling, Marc Ribot, Sparks, Moses Sumney, Swamp Dogg, Tweedy, Loudon Wainwright III, and Jack White. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. 91
    Song Reader made for a pretty cool objet d'art, and it inspired a boatload of intrepid musicians--rock groups, string ensembles, kooky one-man bands--to upload their versions to YouTube. That freewheeling spirit also informs the new Song Reader compilation.
  2. Jul 30, 2014
    80
    Sparks, Fun., Norah Jones and Jarvis Cocker imbue pithy vignettes with their own personalities, Jack White and Jack Black play with chirpy nonsense songs and Swamp Dogg’s soulful take on America, Here’s My Boy is heartbreaking. This is certainly more than an academic exercise.
  3. Aug 6, 2014
    75
    As uneven as it is, Beck's fans will find this experimental release to be an essential one.
  4. Jul 29, 2014
    60
    Many of the contributors give the material a rootsy, rattletrap approach, creating a flat consistency that drags a bit. It’s not until the second half that Beck Song Reader comes fitfully to life.
  5. Sep 17, 2014
    60
    There’s nothing here as inventive as the ambient electro, hip-hop, psych, and string-orchestra versions made by the amateurs and semi-pros who embraced the project 18 months ago. There are, however, some very good takes indeed.
  6. Sep 3, 2014
    60
    [Heaven's Ladder, performed by Beck is] so good, though, that it makes the rest of this complicated exercise seem like a waste of time. [Oct 2014, p.108]
  7. Aug 12, 2014
    30
    An album filled with songs that seem unable to grab attention.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

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