Beck

What Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' has to do with the vivid new album from Beck

What Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' has to do with the vivid new album from Beck

Standing on the 12th floor of the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood, Beck gazed through a south-facing window and pointed toward a neighborhood straddling nearby Sunset Boulevard.

“We lived over there when I was a kid, and it was all bungalow houses for six or seven blocks in every direction,” the singer said. Today the family homes are long gone, of course, replaced by office structures and densely packed apartment buildings; construction cranes dotted the view from Capitol on a recent afternoon, a forecast of still more development to come.

Yet Beck wasn’t surveying the transformation with an old-timer’s scorn. His tone was philosophical as he imagined a future “when you’ll...

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