The problem with Beck Hansen is that he's always been too talented for his own good. The last few years have seen him flit from genre to genre, resulting in intermittently brilliant albums that never quite satisfied either his fans or the critics. On Guero, then, the low-key Californian has done the sensible thing and gone back to the slacker-rock of his breakthrough 1996 record Odelay. No novelty value here - instead, just a collection of freewheeling songs that are amongst the best of his career. The scuffed-up beats and startling samples provide the musical template, over which Beck mumbles lyrics that don't seem to mean a thing, yet somehow manage to make an emotional impact. At 15 tracks, it's over-long and repetitive - but in these days of skip buttons and I-pods, that's hardly a major problem. A real return to form.