Beck is indeed an artist, a pop artist in fact, in both senses of that term. His band-created pseudo-samples have a texture and effect that is not far from that of the hand-painted non-collages of James Rosenquist, for example, and what he sets out to do, in simultaneously admiring, laughing at, and laughing with the objects of his inspiration, follows Pop to the letter. Collage, montage, assemblage, pastiche—whatever you want to call it—is the hallmark of the 20th century anyway, and Beck would be hep to this even if he didn't have a grandfather in the Fluxus ranks (as if Fluxus had ranks). The first thing everybody will notice about Midnite Vulturesis the accretion of allusion and cut-up, then they'll boogie down and maybe they'll never get around to perceiving the fine filigree. But that's pop music for you—it's a useful object.

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