I came later in life to an appreciation of Beck as a musical artist. I think it was his 2017 album Colors that really got me on the Beck train. It’s such a fun, vibrant pop album for adults. He dialed back the pop just a bit for Hyperspace in 2019, and then went somewhat quiet. He has put out one single a year since then, and “Thinking About You” is 2023’s absolute gem of a single.
I love the stripped-down arrangement using an acoustic guitar to lead us on a gentle journey through this beautiful song. And the lyrics? How about these to start the song?
I pull the curtain and lay in bed
I’ve got fifteen movies of you
Playin’ in my head
Can’t we all relate to that at some point in our lives?
Beck subtly introduces a mandolin to compliment the guitar. Hey, Marcus Mumford, take note. A little less banjo can go a long way. This M&S song gets banjo-jacked at the 3:45 mark.
As usual, I’m proven wrong by 100 million views of that parody video featuring those 4 brilliant comedians who have the right idea at the end when they destroy all banjos.
Back to Beck’s song, the mandolin weaves in and out of the song in a way that leaves us wanting more, not in a way where we hope Jason Bateman smashes it at the end of the video.
Beck continues to experiment in his music. What we are finding out is that no matter what Beck tries, he seems to succeed.
In 2022, Beck covered Neil Young’s “Old Man,” and you can hear Young’s harmonica style in “Thinking About You.” Once again, a little goes a long way, and Beck knows just how much harmonica to use without overindulging,