Beck Hansen has a discography so diverse it almost demands to be taken as a whole. Better known by his mononym, Beck has made 12 studio albums since beginning his recording career in 1993, and each one feels like an extension of his personality as a songwriter. He culls together new influences and evokes distinct moods for each outing, resulting in polar opposite albums like Midnite Vultures, a sleazy electro-funk-soul romp, and Sea Change, a lushly devastating breakup album.
It’s nearly impossible to compare such disparate records against one another, but we’re going to try anyway in celebration of Beck’s upcoming, currently untitled 13th studio album. Judging from the first songs released, “Wow” and “Dreams,” it looks like another big departure in a career full of them. Let’s rank the current 12 albums for now, though.
12. Golden Feelings
I wouldn’t call any Beck release truly bad, but his first album certainly comes the closest. Released only in limited quantities without Beck’s permission, Golden Feelings simply sounds unfinished and overly muddled with a few too many noise experiments and too few memorable tunes. Its biggest redeeming feature is the surreal humor throughout, which gives the lo-fi recording an enjoyable homemade quality.