Even if you don't like Sea Change, Beck's jarringly wounded acoustic break-up album, it's difficult to deny the risks he was taking in putting it out. It's a singer/songwriter anomaly in his hyperactive, genial experimental pop catalogue, so displaced and raw that it's difficult to not look at Guero and Modern Guilt, his subsequent attempts at reconciliation, and see traces of a newly vulnerable artist imitating his former self.
Beck will release two albums in the near future, and “I Won't Be Long” may appear on one of them (though almost certainly not on the acoustic one), and it sounds promising, like he's finally figured out how to give his melancholy the outlet it needs while still writing a fun pop song. A stuttering drum machine pounds away, dotted by expansive airy synths, and Beck's vocals, wistful yet pained, like he's sharing one last joke before saying goodbye at the airport. “I Won't Be Long” will be released as a 12" single on July 8th.