Guero

  • Record Label: Geffen
  • Release Date: Mar 29, 2005
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. A thoroughly enjoyable LP that sounds warm and familiar upon the first play and gets stronger with each spin.
  2. Alternative Press
    100
    Long live the king of hip. [May 2005, p.132]
  3. Guero isn't exactly Odelay. It's more like a photo album tracing the phases in Beck's musical career.
  4. "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.
  5. Blender
    80
    Bubbles with kooky sounds and melodic invention. [Apr 2005, p.112]
  6. If this record had come out in ’94 it would have been groundbreaking. ’98 and it would have been good. But it’s ’05 now, and there aren’t many reasons to be impressed.
  7. Guero is Beck’s most enjoyable long-player because it doesn’t pretend to be more than what it is: a fun collection of disparate, delicious songs.
  8. "Guero" proves that the old, post-modern magic still works.
  9. Even though Guero sounds familiar sonically, it still pushes Beck further into a league that he all but owns.
  10. 'Guero' contains several familiar sounds merely repackaged and freshened up - remnants of the party album mentality of 'Midnite Vultures' sit next to the eclecticism of 'Odelay' and the folk sensibilities of 'Mutations'. What negates this is the conviction with which it's all delivered.
  11. The album’s biggest weakness lies in its arrangements.
  12. 100
    Beck's taken everything he's good at and made it better.
  13. Filter
    80
    Finds [Beck] consolidating his considerable talent by combining all his disparate influences into one coherent collection of songs. [#15, p.90]
  14. One of Beck's most admirable traits is that when he tries on a new culture, he makes fun of his effort louder than anyone else can.
  15. It's endearingly all over the place, but depressingly self-referential.
  16. One must realize that this album was created to be fresh but not necessarily edgy. The difference means that the effort is intended to be highly enjoyable but not breakthrough material.
  17. Magnet
    80
    Remarkably, the shifts in tone and mood only serve Guero in the end. [#67, p.85]
  18. Mojo
    60
    While there are enough inspiring moments on here to suggest Beck hasn't yet run out of ideas, it demonstrates that the best way for him to revisit former triumphs would be to travel somewhere new. [Apr 2005, p.92]
  19. There is nothing here that thrills with its audacity, beauty, beat or lyrics. Instead, we are given a solid batch of songs that for any other artist would be a crowning achievement, but for Beck is just mediocre.
  20. New Musical Express (NME)
    80
    'Guero' represents a very clever man being clever enough to recognise what he's good at. [19 Mar 2005, p.58]
  21. Beck integrates his personae into a fairly seamless whole, and his knack for synthesizing disparate musical elements (hip-hop, robot funk, blues, country, jazz, garage rock, etc.) extends beyond samples and individual tracks. The songs migrate smoothly from one to the next; there aren’t any throwaway numbers to sabotage the album’s momentum; the whole thing coheres.
  22. Guero is a record with lots of great ideas and some very good songs... but I can't help thinking that there's just something missing from this release.
  23. While it lacks the churn or drama of his earlier work or the dour intensity of Sea Change, it’s an album remarkable in its consistent, pleasant above-averageness, punctuated by bursts of true genius.
  24. Many of the songs appear to be little more than weak echoes of their similar predecessors.
  25. Too often tracks drag us down below the high standard an artist like Beck Hanson has set himself. Red Hot Chili Peppers outtakes with some harmonica and vocoder balanced incongruously on top are frankly not good enough.
  26. On one level, Guero is the quintessential Beck album, incorporating aspects of everything he's done.... Yet in tone these songs all carry with them the heaviness of Sea Change.
  27. Q Magazine
    60
    The production lacks the loose-fit liveliness and lightness of touch which was The Dust Brothers' trademark back in the mid-'90s. [Apr 2005, p.114]
  28. His liveliest and jumpiest music in years.
  29. Guero is all over the map but the majority of its detours simply aren’t worth the trip.
  30. Spin
    75
    It's his most varied record, but it also sounds for the first time like he's tryinig to make a "Beck album." [Apr 2005, p.97]
  31. Beck has shed himself of Sea Change’s need to shelter himself in his songs. We have our urban craftsman back, to stir the dust in sampled record grooves and unearth for us, again and again, the new in the old and vice versa.
  32. It sounds like a shadow greatest-hits album, a collection of also-rans offering intriguing variations on past styles.
  33. Guero's easy, confident flow makes it easy to underrate but, despite his reputation as a slacker, Beck's biggest weakness has always been trying too hard. It's good to hear him so happy in his own clothes.
  34. The New York Times
    80
    Where his previous albums have seesawed between comedy and despair, "Guero" comes closer than ever to merging them. [21 Mar 2005]
  35. The Wire
    80
    Guero turns out to be much stronger than its provenance suggests. [#256, p.66]
  36. It's probably best that the album we've been waiting so long to hear is as safe as Guero is. At this point we just want our Beck, and Guero is as Beck as Beck can be.
  37. Uncut
    90
    A mouth-watering feast of beats and grooves... as welcome as anything he's done. [Apr 2005, p.100]
  38. Urb
    80
    Beck at his best. [Apr 2005, p.100]
  39. Beck's sampler-songwriter m.o. feels freshest on songs evoking some version, real or imaginary, of Southern California.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 149 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 79
  2. Negative: 2 out of 79
  1. Nov 1, 2011
    6
    Parts of this records are brilliant but too much of it sits in a lull. Too many boring tracks that just plod along to rank up with Beck's bestParts of this records are brilliant but too much of it sits in a lull. Too many boring tracks that just plod along to rank up with Beck's best work. Some great singles on it though. Full Review »
  2. RyanR
    Feb 25, 2008
    9
    "Girl" is possibly the best song by Beck, even if the chorus is "cyanide girl". I love "Que Onda Guero" 's street sounds. Interesting "Girl" is possibly the best song by Beck, even if the chorus is "cyanide girl". I love "Que Onda Guero" 's street sounds. Interesting note, the songs "Go It Alone" and "Farewell Ride" are written in collaboration with the Beastie Boys. Full Review »
  3. Jun 25, 2016
    8
    it's certainly Beck's most accessible album to date, and it is arguably the same formula as of predecessors rearranged and jumbled, but it'sit's certainly Beck's most accessible album to date, and it is arguably the same formula as of predecessors rearranged and jumbled, but it's no less a fun and groovy ride. Full Review »