My Taste in Music is Way Better Than Your Taste in Music
Stereopathetic Soul Manure
Released in 1994
(Crystal Clear) Beer
Today Has Been a Fucked Up Day
Satan Gave Me a Taco
When Beck signed with record label Geffen, the record company agreed to the peculiar proposal of allowing him to release "commercially unviable" records for independant labels, while they got the major stuff for themselves.
So, in 1994, Geffen released Mellow Gold (the album with "Loser" on it), and at the same time, Beck released One Foot in the Grave through K Records, and this album, through Flipside.
While One Foot in the Grave was a stripped back, accoustic affair, full of fairly straight country, blues and folk, Stereopathetic Soul Manure is an entirely different affair. The album it a huge mixed bag of songs, with a wide spread of styles including blues, lo-fi, folk, hard rock and noise experiments. It's a varied mix, possibly even more-so than 1996's Odelay, the album which cemented Beck's reputation for genre-hopping.
While this was a strength on Odelay, on this album it actually comes across as more of a weakness. There is little in the way of consistent quality throughout the album. The recordings range from studio jobs to tape recordings of Beck's early days of busking. There are no less than 3 guests who replace Beck on vocals at random points in time. It's all far too jumbled and inconsistent, and chances are only longtime Beck fans will find genuine interest in it's content.
That being said, there are a handfull of great tracks here - the stark, accoustic number "(Crystal Clear) Beer," an accordian solo entitled "Jagermaster Pie," the brainless banjo-fest "Today Has Been a Fucked up Day," and the incredibly funny "Satan Gave me a Taco" are amongst his best work. Although, at 23 tracks total, these songs don't manage to justify purchasing the album. This one is for fans and completists only.