Contrary to popular belief, Beck is not just the name of a character who hangs out with Bender in that one episode of Futurama. He's a pop rock chameleon who made ruling '90s indie culture a warpath.
After releasing a series of low-key, anti-folk records that suggested more of a psychlord than a songwriter, he struck big with "Loser", a self-loathing slice of grunge euphoria from 1994's Mellow Gold that pretty much summed up the generation of music to which it belonged. Like Radiohead trying to douse "Creep" out of their lives, he spent some time recalibrating his sound, coming back two records later with Odelay!, a Beastie Boys inspired slab of hip hop strained by noise, folk and punk.
It's a pop-absorbing collage that rivals The Avalanches' Since I Left You and DJ Shadow's Endtroducing to this day, and if Beck never quite achieved that singular wacky genius again, it's because he started focusing on his records a little more, making genre exercises of them. Sea Change was a forlorn folk record; The Information his Gameboy one.
At this point, Beck's experiments have become more Damon Albarn than they are cutting edge, but his eye for a perfect, sinking melody remains, whatever trope he's traipsing us through.