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Beck’s return to pop 

The artist performs at the Saenger Theater Sept. 15

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Photo by Peter Hapak

Everyone who complained about Beck's sedentary 2014 album Morning Phase is getting a healthy dose of careful-what-you-wish-for comeuppance. (I'm mostly talking to myself here.) With the first two singles off his still-untitled October follow-up, Beck might as well be sticking it to anyone who got antsy sitting through his combed-over, Sunrise Earth salutations. The pendulum has swung like a wrecking ball back to pop tomfoolery on "Dreams" and "Wow," and as sure as day turns to night, the lovable loser is back to midnite vulturing: the former cattle-prodding us onto an overpacked dance floor with a funky, middle-MGMT pep rally; the latter flaunting its ersatz pep talk ("It's my life, your life / Live it once, can't live it twice") with a criminally silly rap sheet of lyrics overlaid on its pop-up video (just because "irrelevant" and "jujitsu" rhyme with "elephant" and "Shih Tzu" doesn't necessarily mean they should). The kicker is that the House of Blues in 2014 got sad-in-the-pants Beck — when he was "so tired of being alone" — and the Saenger gets this guy: "pissin' in the wind 'cause it's so pine fresh." I'm pretty sure that's against house rules. Quintron and Miss Pussycat open. Tickets $39.50-$89.50.

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