Beck returns with a new LP Song Reader, of course with the American singer-songwriter there is always a twist.
The new album will only feature Beck singing on one track. The rest of the album is littered with guest rock stars, Jack White, Swamp Dogg, Jarvis Cocker and actor/Tenacious D lead vocalist and guitarist Jack Black.
The latest offering from Beck, is best described as a concept album. I know sometimes ‘concept’ records can be pretentious, as well as boring, but Beck’s selected cast members should fill you with optimism.
The origin of Song Reader dates back to 2012. The singer published a collection of twenty songs on sheet music. He encouraged fans, along with other musicians to record their own versions and interpretations of the music. Beck claimed that none of the sheet music collection had ever been recorded.
Skip to 2014, the singer-songwriter decided to work with a host of different artists and release the album Song Reader. Other notable guests appearing on the record, Jeff Tweedy Wilco frontman, Norah Jones, and New York Dolls singer David Johansen.
In an interview with Rolling Stone Beck said:
“Like a kid getting a special package in the mail and opening it up with anticipation, these interpretations of songs from the Song Reader book have surpassed what I could have imagined when putting the book together. The book addressed the idea of a song in its most elemental form, letting others give it a voice. It amazes me to hear how these musicians have made the songs their own and in the process revealed that the interpretation is the living breathing soul of the piece. These interpretations have made the book something new, something better.”
The new album is released on July 29th.
Song Reader Track Listing:
Moses Sumney – “Title of This Song”
fun. – “Please Leave A Light On When You Go”
Tweedy – “The Wolf Is On The Hill”
Norah Jones – “Just Noise”
Lord Huron – “Last Night You Were A Dream”
Bob Forrest – “Saint Dude”
Jack White – “I’m Down”
Beck – “Heaven’s Ladder”
Juanes – “Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard”
Laura Marling – “Sorry”
Jarvis Cocker – “Eyes That Say ’I Love You’”
David Johansen – “Rough On Rats”
Jason Isbell – “Now That Your Dollar Bills Have Sprouted Wings”
The Last Polka – “Marc Ribot”
Eleanor Friedberger – “Old Shanghai”
Sparks – “Why Did You Make Me Care?”
Swamp Dogg – “America, Here’s My Boy”
Jack Black – “We All Wear Cloaks”
Loudon Wainwright III – “Do We? We Do”
Gabriel Kahane with Ymusic – “Mutilation Rag”