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Editor's rating: 
 4.8
Saturday, 01 March 2008 ,  Written by Matt Fink
Beck - Odelay (Deluxe Edition)
Of all the no-trick ponies and gimmick acts, no artist ever seemed more destined for one-hit wonder status than Beck. Though he had been kicking around the indie rock and anti-folk scenes for a half decade before 1994’s “Loser” became his entry into the pop culture lexicon, even an optimist wouldn’t have expected the shaggy kid with the clumsy rapping and generation X angst to amount to much more than a footnote for the grunge era. To be fair, there were those at the time who recognized Mellow Gold – the hastily assembled album that was rushed to capitalize on the unexpected success of “Loser” – as the ingenious mixing pot of creaky folk music and noise-damaged hip-hop that it was. But despite his innovative streak, Beck was just so strange – so obsessed with bugs and food and death ...
Editor's rating: 
 2.3
Friday, 01 February 2008 ,  Written by Matt Fink
Eels - Eels Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities, and Unreleased 1996 - 2006
Though it’s hard to imagine today, when every stray b-side, studio outtake and once-performed live track turns up on a peer-to-peer network, some canonized artists simply don’t have a very deep catalog. From blues guitarist Robert Johnson and the 42 tracks he left behind before his death at the age of 27 to the Sex Pistols and their one official studio album, not all legendary artists left legacies that are fit for boxed set treatment. And while it’s understandable that we’d search for gold in the lost moments of, say, Led Zeppelin or Neil Young, it’s puzzling when bands that are less highly regarded get the deluxe compilation treatment. And while it’s probably true that every halfway decent band deserves at least a “best of” set, it’s a far higher standard that should be met by artists who wish to ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.5
Friday, 01 February 2008 ,  Written by Matt Fink
Eels - Meet the Eels: Essential Eels 1996 - 2006, Vol. 1
Though it’s hard to imagine today, when every stray b-side, studio outtake and once-performed live track turns up on a peer-to-peer network, some canonized artists simply don’t have a very deep catalog. From blues guitarist Robert Johnson and the 42 tracks he left behind before his death at the age of 27 to the Sex Pistols and their one official studio album, not all legendary artists left legacies that are fit for boxed set treatment. And while it’s understandable that we’d search for gold in the lost moments of, say, Led Zeppelin or Neil Young, it’s puzzling when bands that are less highly regarded get the deluxe compilation treatment. And while it’s probably true that every halfway decent band deserves at least a “best of” set, it’s a far higher standard that should be met by artists who wish to ...
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