Some bag on Stereopathetic Soulmanure as an inferior Beck release, but I think it’s easily one of his best albums. It’s a little rough in patches, but the eclectic songwriting is usually good and there is even some fairly good guitar playing. Beck is all over the place. From found sounds, to noise rock, to country, to folk, he tries a little of everything. But he manages to pull it off. In fact, Mellow Gold was a big step down from the creativity on display here. Beck hadn’t yet hooked up with hip-hop producers but it’s no real loss with what is found here. Is this juvenile? Yes, of course. But it manages to faithfully capture the sense of looking for something that resonates and finding the process of the search at least as interesting as anything found along the way. This has the feel of bored Southern California kids making their own entertainment — not unlike what Ariel Pink would do a few years later.