David Browne
February 11, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

Loser (Music - Beck)

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Beck
Producers
DGC
genre
Rock
We gave it a B+

What’s that eardrum-grabbing mesh of hip-hop drums, slide guitar, and whiny hook you’re beginning to hear on the radio? It’s ”Loser,” by 23-year-old L.A. singer-songwriter Beck. First released last summer on a tiny Hollywood label, the undeniably addictive ”Loser” threw Beck (full name: Beck Hansen) into an unlikely bidding war, with Geffen’s DGC label winning out. The result is the national release of the song, and four others, on the five-song CD Loser (DGC). Like its charmingly grating title song, the rest of ”Loser” is essentially a white-guy take on the pothead hippie-rap of Cypress Hill, Arrested Development, and the Jungle Brothers. The added attraction is sheer mystique: Sounding like a slacker rattling around in a basement opium den, Beck is a stoner folkie one song, a white rapper railing against dead-end jobs the next. (Those fuzzy cover photos don’t help, either.) ”I don’t know what the f— is going on,” he slurs at record’s end. Perhaps his first full album, Mellow Gold, due in March, will help us figure that out, too. B+

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