I was enchanted by Rickey Wright’s review of Beck’s new record, Odelay (Music, 7/12). I do believe it sets a new standard for music-critic cool-sounding jargon. In particular I enjoyed the phrase “groove-heavy crazy quilt.” For me, it evoked the idea of a really hep quilt, sort of like the one Winona Ryder made in How to Make an American Quilt. However, I was confused by two of his comments. One was, “If anything is in short supply, it’s the cracked Appalachianisms that helped flavor Mellow Gold.” Although I have closely followed the illustrious career of the country-music obsessed Eddie Dean in your paper, I must confess that I am not quite sure what, exactly, an “Appalachianism” is. I harbor the suspicion that Wright made the word up.

In conclusion, I would, appropriately, like to mention the conclusive sentence of Wright’s review: “it suggests that Beck’s next experiment could find him in a laboratory much less suffused with archness.” Wha? It seems that Wright is suffering from what novelist David Foster Wallace calls “an advance case of cleveritis.” I won’t even start on the film reviews.

American University Park

via the Internet