The Information Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 99 Ratings

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  • Summary: Nigel Godrich produced the latest eclectic release for the prolific Los Angeles-based artist, which is more varied and uptempo than their previous collaborations.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. This is their third collaboration, but neither the casual, light-bodied "Mutations" nor the intimate "Sea Change" anticipated this kind of flowering. [24 Sep 2006]
  2. Along the way, it scores a lot of points, thanks to Nigel Godrich's earthy but twisted production.
  3. Despite the album’s plethora of stylistic shifts and breakdowns, there’s a solid coherency to The Information that allows it to flow from beginning to end without the listener losing interest.
  4. What The Information lacks in Sea Changemanship it makes up for in Midnight Vultures, hats be damned.
  5. The Information is as creative, tuneful and interesting as you could wish from an established artist.
  6. The Information... is hamstrung by the sensation that, though Beck likes rapping, he has little to say beyond smart-alec one-liners. [Nov 2006, p.138]
  7. Yet for all the headphone-worthy sounds, the pace seldom rises above a back-porch feel and, at times, the stickers meant for customizing the cover seem like more fun than the music.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 61
  2. Negative: 2 out of 61
  1. BrianF.
    Nov 3, 2007
    Well put together, you cant make a better sound.
  2. BipS
    Oct 6, 2006
    Beck's masterful blend of genres has never been better. From the touching and haunting echoes of "New Round" to the unashamed brazenness of of "1000 bpm" the album plays more like a full spectrum than anything else. Each song is entirely different and yet fully connected to the album. Beck goes from singing in a melodic near-whisper to full out rapping and belting out his traditional catchy and almost nonsensical choruses. For years, Beck has embodied a wholly new sound with each album he releases. In The Information, he seems to come from a new direction in each new track. There's a different reason to listen over and over again to each song. Whether it's the found recordings of conversations to the incorporation of telephone sounds and messages, each song has something new to it. Songs like "Cell Phones Dead" and "Nausea" have genuine mass commercial appeal and could be hits on the radio, while others like "Elevator Music" and "No Complaints" are just as good with a more authentic feel. This album is the best of anything Beck has ever done and it captures the sounds of his whole career without being a trendy "Best Of" album. This is all entirely new, but happily familiar. It's a must-have for any fans of Beck, and all music fans should at least give it a listen. Expand
  3. joshm
    Nov 3, 2006
    The Information is a great example of Beck's unique style. He combines randomness with some meaningfull lyrics. It is a great album.
  4. ChrisM
    Oct 4, 2006
    Awesome CD, perfectly captures the mood of 2006, and it has a great flow to it. Godrich's production is unreal, i dont think any radiohead fan ever thought he could produce something this dark and funky and actually make it sound good. Expand
  5. MH
    Dec 5, 2006
    V. good album; the only track that's questionable is the last one ('Horrible Fanfare...'), which sounds a bit too much like Revolution #9. Other than that, it's got huge replay value, good lyrics, good music, and good beats. Expand
  6. GabeC
    Oct 10, 2006
    As soon as I heard about Beck doing a 'hip-hop' album with Nigel Godrich, I got seriously excited. As hard as it was to imagine at the time, I knew it would be something special. And it is, for the most part. In fact theres absolutely nothing wrong about this album at all (except for 1000 bpm - I rarely admit that a beck song is truly just BAD). The problem is its just so smooth and comfortable that it never really incites excitement or exhiliration, as previous Beck albums have. Luckily, after hearing about 9 of the tracks online before the album was out, my expectations were down - not in terms of the quality, but in regards to how much the album pushed the tempo (or didn't push the tempo, as the case is here). It rarely puts its foot on the accelerator, but in its slow pace is still very layered and gets more interesting with repeated listens. What it makes for is a smooth, breezy album with the same kind of homogenous feel that was all over Sea Change and Mutations (thanks to Mr Godrich), and some really nice moments that do stand out eventually. Elevator Music, Strange Apparition, Motorcade, Inside Out and Think I'm In Love are my favourites. In light of the variation and shapeshifting that Beck has already done, its totally reasonable that he can make a 'Beck-by-numbers' record and get away with it, especially since its so well produced and delivered, and since being straightforward like this is actually something he hasn't done before. It may be the middle of the road but its the middle of Beck's road and thats a pretty freaked out highway to be in the middle of. The trick now is for him to not fall into the trap of repeating this. I'm sure he'll keep it interesting by continuing to work with different producers (hopefully Tony Hoffer again) and by being his eclectic self. Then all he has to do is get around to touring Australia again and my life is complete. Expand
  7. RickS
    Oct 29, 2006
    You can tell straight off the bat the critics don't have a clue what there talking about, take the NY times-"[A] darkly intelligent album", ahhh NO did you listen to the album, this album is anything but dark as$#le. Ok take The Onion-"There's nothing here that Beck hasn't done before", why yes the same old sh!t he's been trying to find, but you seem to give him a high score. Haa I love Rolling Stone almost everything they say is so wrong it just cracks me up-"One of the best albums Beck has ever made", right, alot of beck fans might want to take you up on that. Well for me this album was like listening to a "band" that Expand

See all 61 User Reviews