User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 82 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 82
  2. Negative: 2 out of 82

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  1. Jul 16, 2012
    8
    At a brisk 33 minutes, this albums cranks out some of Beck's best tunes. The first four tracks are brilliant and the rest are great. The production is great also no thanks to Danger Mouse/ All In All, Beck's headed down a more mature path and It shows in Modern Guilt.
  2. j30
    Feb 19, 2012
    7
    Beck's last two albums (including this one, Modern Guilt) have been some of his most inconsistent efforts. But with all the inconstancy comes some of his greatest rewards. "Chemtrails" is one of my favorite Beck songs, "Gamma Ray" and "Youthless" are nice additions to Beck's cannon of pop songs.
  3. Nov 1, 2011
    7
    This is an ambitious record, not what I'd call easy listening but always interesting listening. The thing about Beck for me is - he's a great artist but quality control is often a problem on his records and they can be very self indulgent. For the most part here though he keeps that in checks
  4. Nov 28, 2010
    9
    What I love about Beck is you never know what his next album is going to sound like. And yet one thing you know is, no matter how different it might be from his previous efforts, it will still be utterly, brilliantly Beck. No modern musician has been able to tinker and tweak their sound quite like him, whilst still maintaining such a high quality output. This album sees a more toned down,What I love about Beck is you never know what his next album is going to sound like. And yet one thing you know is, no matter how different it might be from his previous efforts, it will still be utterly, brilliantly Beck. No modern musician has been able to tinker and tweak their sound quite like him, whilst still maintaining such a high quality output. This album sees a more toned down, relaxed Beck than his last album 'The Information' and the results are, I think, much better. Very smooth production, with much simple yet compelling arrangements, make these short but sweet tracks positively gleam with a confidence that comes from a master of his craft at the top of his game. Love it! Expand
  5. Sep 7, 2010
    8
    Not as much fun as Odelay or The Information, but still an expectedly solid effort from Beck. The album is just good music. You may not find yourself singing along to many songs, but you won't find yourself skipping any either.
  6. BethC.
    Feb 7, 2009
    8
    Great fun - just like old times. gotta love him.
  7. CliffD
    Feb 1, 2009
    9
    This album did branch out, stays fresh with each listening, and is the most tasteful album beck has ever put out. That being said, I do appreciate Beck's tastelessness, but I didn't ever miss when listening to Modern Guilt. Watch out though this one just creeps up on you until at the end you are depressed into a coma.
  8. thehamster
    Jan 18, 2009
    5
    This album was for sure a letdown after The Information....Modern Guilt has a couple of good moments but it suffers from being WAY overproduced. I sorely missed his band on these songs and would think a little more life could have went into this if they were present. Danger Mouse for sure brought some ideas, but 10 songs of them in a row sounded a lot alike. Not horrible, but not up to This album was for sure a letdown after The Information....Modern Guilt has a couple of good moments but it suffers from being WAY overproduced. I sorely missed his band on these songs and would think a little more life could have went into this if they were present. Danger Mouse for sure brought some ideas, but 10 songs of them in a row sounded a lot alike. Not horrible, but not up to normal Beck standards. What made the Information so good is what is missing here.....variety. Back to the drawing board Beck.....remember to bring the band next time. Expand
  9. HannahL.
    Jan 10, 2009
    9
    Good stuff, beck is still the man.
  10. EvanH.
    Dec 16, 2008
    9
    A great addition to the Beck dicography. Catchy tunes like Profanity Prayer, Gamma Ray and Modern Guilt are all addictive tracks that will keep you toe tapping for ages. The overall feel of this album to me is that he is searching for a new beginning. I wonder why Timebomb did not make it on this album, as it is a great party song and would certainly be the highlight of the album. A great addition to the Beck dicography. Catchy tunes like Profanity Prayer, Gamma Ray and Modern Guilt are all addictive tracks that will keep you toe tapping for ages. The overall feel of this album to me is that he is searching for a new beginning. I wonder why Timebomb did not make it on this album, as it is a great party song and would certainly be the highlight of the album. Chemtrails is actually my least favourite on this album, right behind Walls. It's a new, folksier Beck, but that certainly doesn't mean he is ready to settle down just yet. It is my favourite album besides Odelay that shows that he still has creativity, without sacrificing his integrity. I wouldn't complain if he made 10 more albums of this calibur. Expand
  11. ZachT.
    Oct 5, 2008
    9
    The first thing on this albums is the beck's voice , this voice became really great . Just listen chemtrails the first beck singles , a nice psychedelic songs. The first half of this album is a pure masterpiece , all songs are great , especially Walls or chemtrails which are pleasure for my ears , but the real orgasm is Volcano , it close this album magnificently. Better Than Sea The first thing on this albums is the beck's voice , this voice became really great . Just listen chemtrails the first beck singles , a nice psychedelic songs. The first half of this album is a pure masterpiece , all songs are great , especially Walls or chemtrails which are pleasure for my ears , but the real orgasm is Volcano , it close this album magnificently. Better Than Sea Change in all way , maybe the best since Odelay. Great Job Beck Expand
  12. Tab
    Sep 28, 2008
    10
    The trick is to let this work of brilliance stand on its own. When album this genuine and passionate happens, recognize what went into it. That's where you'll find what to get out.
  13. Jean-PhilippeD.
    Sep 25, 2008
    5
    Very surprisingly, it's the first Beck album I cannot play all at once and teh times in a row. Actually it's the first Beck album I've never played in its entirety. It's over produced and far from being in touch with the artist himself. It sounds like everything but Beck. Sadly the title of the album was engaging enough, but it seems the production methods of Mr Brian Very surprisingly, it's the first Beck album I cannot play all at once and teh times in a row. Actually it's the first Beck album I've never played in its entirety. It's over produced and far from being in touch with the artist himself. It sounds like everything but Beck. Sadly the title of the album was engaging enough, but it seems the production methods of Mr Brian Burton did nothing to pull it off the junk basket. It's way over produced. One needs to establish whether the album is a showcase of Danger Mouse's potential or Beck's genius... Maybe it's neither of them. Expand
  14. AshleyM.
    Sep 22, 2008
    6
    Yes, Beck has a new album. If you like Guero and The Information this is apparently a continuation of the themes he's used for awhile. Its a solid album and Danger Mouse is a competent producer but since Sea Change Beck has mellowed out considerably. The things that I have always loved about him are strangely absent. There is still some absurd and surreal lyrics but the playfulness Yes, Beck has a new album. If you like Guero and The Information this is apparently a continuation of the themes he's used for awhile. Its a solid album and Danger Mouse is a competent producer but since Sea Change Beck has mellowed out considerably. The things that I have always loved about him are strangely absent. There is still some absurd and surreal lyrics but the playfulness is gone. Beck has become a serious individual. There are some really good standout tracks like the opening track "Orphans", "Gamma Ray", "Modern Guilt" and "Walls". A lot of the album is sad and has an ethereal quality which I would compare to the slower Gnarls Barkley tracks. If you are depressed in any way I would suggest NOT listening to this album. There are heavy themes of death which pervade the entire record. I would suggest Modern Guilt to only the hardcore fans of the post Sea Change Beck albums. Expand
  15. BJM.
    Sep 16, 2008
    8
    The two albums before this lost me, but Beck has got me back as a fan. It's not a difficult album, but does take a week or two before it will get under your skin. Finally i am humming Beck tunes in my head again..not since Sea Change has that happened.
  16. KurtC.
    Aug 30, 2008
    6
    Beck's musical slump continues. It's really a tragedy because he was on such a prolific ride with every album he released from 1994 and 1996's modern classics "Mellow Gold" and "Odelay," respectively, to 1998's stunning off-roader "Mutations," on to 1999's eclectic grower "Midnite Vultures," and finally to his career's pinnacle, 2002's depressingly Beck's musical slump continues. It's really a tragedy because he was on such a prolific ride with every album he released from 1994 and 1996's modern classics "Mellow Gold" and "Odelay," respectively, to 1998's stunning off-roader "Mutations," on to 1999's eclectic grower "Midnite Vultures," and finally to his career's pinnacle, 2002's depressingly beautiful "Sea Change". The gossip around "Sea Change" was the love of his life broke his heart and out came his most raw, honest and ingenious work of art. It also drained him of everything he had left. Since then, Beck has struggled to create anything that can touch the greatness of any of his previous work. This year's "Modern Guilt" continues to see the decline of Beck and it really saddens me. I saw Beck on his "Sea Change" tour at Wolf Trap and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. He was ON and his band really helped carry him. Fast-forward a few years later to 2005's "Guero" tour at The Patriot Center and it was like night and day. Beck could barely perform the last half of his set. He didn't even MOVE. His stage hands had to switch his guitars on and off him, step on his effects pedals for him, and basically act as his crutch just to get him through. There was no encore which is unheard of for a headliner. That's the feeling and impression I get with Beck's latest albums and now with "Modern Guilt"...he's just barely getting by and simply fulfilling his contractual obligations. Not that there aren't some diamonds in the rough here (certainly not his best songs ever, but they're relatively good), such as "Orphans," "Gamma Ray" and title track "Modern Guilt," but the bus stops there. The remaining seven tracks meander off into cruise control, letting producer DJ Danger Mouse seemingly take full control thereby giving "Modern Guilt" a disappointingly un-Beck feel. What is the Beck feel you ask? Listen to the range of experimentation going on with every album before "Guero": boldly diving into multiple genres with a keen ear for melody, funk, folk, and mischievousness. Beck doesn't seem to be having fun anymore, not that "Sea Change" was a fun album...far from it, but it had soul. That's what's lacking from post-Sea Change Beck for me and I really want him back. Snap out of it, buddy. Please. Expand
  17. AllanH.
    Aug 25, 2008
    8
    Solid Beck album, some great tunes like "Modern Guilt" and "Volcano".
  18. RobertB.
    Aug 21, 2008
    9
    This album is very great... so enjoyable from the beginning to the end. one of the best works of the late beck... surely the best thing after sea change.
  19. FranklinFudge
    Aug 19, 2008
    1
    Beck hasn't made a good album since the 1990s, which is unfortunate, since he was one of the 90s' most reliable indie rockers. Even Danger Mouse couldn't turn his career around, and Danger Mouse has been infallible lately. Stay away.
  20. IlyaR
    Aug 13, 2008
    8
    It's amazing how rich this album is in both substance and music while still tight and very riffy in the Beck mode. One of his best in a while.
  21. Joris
    Aug 11, 2008
    9
    Very strong first few and last few songs, only the title track is a bit of a let down. It should have contained 1 or 2 songs more, it's a bit too short to really make it album of the year. Besides this, the lyrics are poetry, they give me goosebumps. It's a great Beck album which means evolution, inspiration and sheer originality! And although some songs would have been better Very strong first few and last few songs, only the title track is a bit of a let down. It should have contained 1 or 2 songs more, it's a bit too short to really make it album of the year. Besides this, the lyrics are poetry, they give me goosebumps. It's a great Beck album which means evolution, inspiration and sheer originality! And although some songs would have been better without the dancy Danger mouse production i 'd still call it a huge step forward wherefor i can only applaud him. Not his best album, but definitely one of his better. If I really had to pick some standouts: Soul of a Man, Chemtrails, Replica, Volcano and Profanity Prayers. Expand
  22. JamesB.
    Aug 3, 2008
    8
    Good songwriting with great production!
  23. CM.
    Aug 3, 2008
    8
    Pretty so-so at first listen. I think it takes a few thorough plays to really appreciate this album. After hearing it through a few times I really like it, it has the same type of feel as The Information. The short play time helps, the songs are all really tight. Replica and Profanity Prayers are two of the best cuts in my opinion, the only song I really don't like is Soul of a Man.
  24. MichaelC.
    Aug 2, 2008
    10
    For me this is up there with Mutations and Seachange. I love it.
  25. Jodie
    Jul 28, 2008
    9
    This album is hot!!! However I do find that Beck fans tend to be split on his music styles. So if you like Odelay, Guerro etc. you probably won't like this album. However if you prefer Mutations, Sea Change etc. you'll love it. One of the albums of the year.
  26. AndrewL.
    Jul 27, 2008
    10
    One of the best albums of the year.
  27. RyanM.
    Jul 19, 2008
    8
    Fun, simple easy to listen to. Great retro sound. Beck shows more diversity with this good album. Not his best or most interesting but worthwhile to listen to as background party music or driving music.
  28. RobbieC.
    Jul 16, 2008
    10
    My favorite album of the year. My favorite Beck album EVER! It's absolutely AWESOME.
  29. RioG.
    Jul 16, 2008
    4
    Very disappointing. If it wasn't Beck I wouldn't give it a second listen. Boring.
  30. ScottD.
    Jul 15, 2008
    9
    It seems all the critics care about is Danger Mouse's production. Which, don't get me wrong, is a big part of this record, but come on! It's a BECK album. And when you think of it that way (and be sure to give it numerous listens because it's a grower) you realize the genius of it. It really is a great, fast, sometimes-fun-sometimes-dark album.
  31. VictorR.
    Jul 14, 2008
    10
    Why are the critic being so harsh on this album? Is beck a real asshole in person, or is it because he is a scientologist? I can't say, but so far I haven't stop listening. A very personal record, ethereal but not sentimental. Like a the glimpse of the end of the world through a digital periscope.
  32. MattA.
    Jul 12, 2008
    9
    Super Album. I really don't get the negative press. I will say I am a Beck fan, but this is an album that ranks right up there with some of the best of the year so far. The lyrics are tough and deep. I really like the blend of rock and beats. One of Beck's stand out albums. Maybe because so many of the songs are so dark, it is downer for people, but for me, this is right up Super Album. I really don't get the negative press. I will say I am a Beck fan, but this is an album that ranks right up there with some of the best of the year so far. The lyrics are tough and deep. I really like the blend of rock and beats. One of Beck's stand out albums. Maybe because so many of the songs are so dark, it is downer for people, but for me, this is right up there with Odelay and Mutations as Beck's finest work. Expand
  33. JohnP.
    Jul 11, 2008
    9
    Shades of Bowie and Mellow Gold; Profanity Prayers can not be turned up loud enough. Love it.
  34. DC
    Jul 10, 2008
    10
    This is the most precise album he has done since sea change. Beck rocks it with danger mouse flare. Perfect pairing.
  35. PatrickS.
    Jul 9, 2008
    9
    Catchy and trippy songs that remind me of a cross between Odelay and Midnite Vultures. Not much new here, but a solid album nonetheless. I guess my question would be, "Is Beck done recreating himself?"
  36. Giterdone
    Jul 9, 2008
    4
    Ok Beck, you went from Nigel's beautiful hi-fi crisp and bright production to the mudd, hissy, lo-fi production of Danger Mouse. Bad choice man. This is your most disappointing release.
  37. Yo
    Jul 9, 2008
    10
    Does this man ever slip up?? Classic!
  38. DaveB.
    Jul 8, 2008
    10
    Classic quirky Beck with beats that suck you in and lyrics that sneak into a remote closet in your brain (even without drugs). "Profanity Prayer" is a must hear and may prove to be on of Beck's 3 or 4 best songs. A well crafted album.
  39. BrandonS.
    Jul 8, 2008
    8
    Good stuff here. More focused than his other recent albums. Me likes.
  40. StevenS
    Jul 8, 2008
    9
    The only reason this album doesn't warrant a 10 is also the reason why I wouldn't consider it a stone cold classic, it's a minor detail but an important one. That reason is; the unrelenting and probably intentionally discomforting drumbeat put on Replica. While the end of that song eventually segues its way into the dark, gorgeous soundscape that populates the rest of this The only reason this album doesn't warrant a 10 is also the reason why I wouldn't consider it a stone cold classic, it's a minor detail but an important one. That reason is; the unrelenting and probably intentionally discomforting drumbeat put on Replica. While the end of that song eventually segues its way into the dark, gorgeous soundscape that populates the rest of this brilliant album it proves to be somewhat of an annoyance during the first part of the song. While it probably still is somewhat compelling and true to the artists vision (possibly even intended to push a certain point) it still doesn't sound all that great. Other than that this is by far the most interesting and possibly the best disc Beck has ever made. 9.5/10 Expand
  41. BradleyH.
    Jul 8, 2008
    9
    Beck sails through a sea of modern mediocrity. Standing along side of NIN, Morrissey, Radiohead and Coldplay who have consistently released albums that other artists could only dream of making, always relevant.
  42. MaxM.
    Jul 8, 2008
    9
    I had to listen to this album multiple times to really get the feel for it but it seems like I enjoy it more every time I listen.
  43. TM.
    Jul 8, 2008
    10
    Amazing, as expected. Like The Information, Mellow Gold, and Sea Change mixed together.
  44. JohnW.
    Jul 8, 2008
    10
    Beck's return to rock. Every cd he's ever made has been different and life changing. Debra is still is funniest and most creative song to date from the Midnight Vultures cd. modern guilt hasn't totally grown on me to be my favorite of his but I've only listened to it once and i was falling asleep at 3 in the morning so yeah. I'm gonna listen to it and smoke a bowl Beck's return to rock. Every cd he's ever made has been different and life changing. Debra is still is funniest and most creative song to date from the Midnight Vultures cd. modern guilt hasn't totally grown on me to be my favorite of his but I've only listened to it once and i was falling asleep at 3 in the morning so yeah. I'm gonna listen to it and smoke a bowl of dro to it. Expand
  45. RossM.
    Jul 7, 2008
    9
    Love it! I have liked all of Beck's albums, each one offering something new and this one is no exception. Beck changes direction to more of a 60s sound that still manages to sound fresh.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Here, they [Beck and Danger Mouse] deliver enough substance and style to make Modern Guilt an effective dosage of 21st century paranoia.
  2. It sits alone in his cannon as being slightly uncomfortable but in turn is a brilliantly concise work (it runs to a little over 30 minutes).
  3. Burton makes the ultimate endgame sound like a party you'd still want to be invited to--one that even Beck might enjoy, despite himself.