Forest for the Trees

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Forest for the Trees is the brainchild of Carl Stephenson, the co-writer/producer of Beck's "Loser" single, as well as much of Beck's DGC full-length debut, Mellow Gold. Around the time "Loser" began…
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Forest for the Trees is the brainchild of Carl Stephenson, the co-writer/producer of Beck's "Loser" single, as well as much of Beck's DGC full-length debut, Mellow Gold. Around the time "Loser" began its rapid rise to the upper reaches of the pop singles chart in 1993, Stephenson had completed the majority of what would later be released in 1997 as the self-titled Forest for the Trees album. In 1993, Stephenson began to obsessively tinker and fiddle with the album's contents, and then he suffered a nervous breakdown that took him out of commission until 1997. By this time, he had recovered to the point that Forest for the Trees could be finished and released. The album's lead single, "Dream," enjoyed modest success in MTV's heavy-rotation "Buzz Bin" and received mixed reviews from the music press. If pressed to explain what Forest for the Trees sounds like, eclectic and experimental are the operative words, as well as playful, hip, ironic, post-modern, smug and kaleidoscopic. At best the album is fun; at worst it can recall all of Beck's excesses without any of the songcraft and lyrical surprises that the boy with the devil's haircut has at his disposal.