Beck's Record Club Series Takes On Songs of Leonard Cohen, with Devendra Banhart, MGMT

Beck's Record Club Series Takes On <i>Songs of Leonard Cohen</i>, with Devendra Banhart, MGMT
Market over-saturation be damned, Beck is plowing ahead with his Record Club series, yesterday embarking on Leonard Cohen's 1967 debut, Songs of Leonard Cohen.

As you may remember, the series involves the folk funk troubadour and a group of friends heading into the studio and covering a classic album within the span of 24 hours. Beck unveiled the project in June, beginning with The Velvet Underground & Nico, which was released for free on his website.

The result was a mixed bag, something that's unsurprising given the unrehearsed nature of the recordings. "Sunday Morning" was a pleasantly faithful rendition but "Heroin" was downright twisted, composed of out-of-tune strumming and distorted, unintelligible screaming.

This time around, with Songs of Leonard Cohen, Beck's collaborators include Devendra Banhart and members of MGMT, Wolfmother and Little Joy. The collective posted their cover of "Suzanne" Thursday (September 3), a thumping, cello-driven groove with Banhart handling the bulk of the vocals. It doesn't bear much similarity to the acoustic plucking of the original but, as the website states, "There is no intention to 'add to' the original work or attempt to recreate the power of the original recording." Fair enough.

The rest of the album will follow, with a new song being posted each week. As for future Record Club releases, the website reveals that "our close second choice was Ace of Base, which we'll keep on the list for next time."

We're going to hold you to that, Beck.