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I have mixed feelings about Beck. When he connects, his songs are outstanding, but that doesn’t happen enough. Working through the raw emotion of Sea Change is the closest I’ve ever come to enjoying a full Beck album, but even his high-water point loses steam at times. Thankfully, the musician is particularly good at penning single tracks, and one we’re including on the Playlist is “Gamma Ray“.

“Gamma Ray” clicks on multiple levels and is all the more impressive for it. The song is catchy on first listen thanks to the high energy bass and drum shuffle that drives the melody. It’s swung enough to have a dance feel and quick enough to give direction. It’s also addictive long-term thanks to the little things like the ringing hollow-body guitar, the lyrical turns, and that “dot dot dot on the ground” line mixed with staccato drums (just try to dislike it, I dare you). It’s a fun song with enough smoky atmospherics and layers to keep things interesting after dozens of listens. This is an easy choice for the Ultimate Playlist.

Also, be sure to check out the Ultimate Playlist page, either by clicking that link or looking at the top of the blog. It has a Spotify playlist with all the songs and a list with links to all the tracks!