Earlier this year, Beck took inventiveness to a new level with the announcement of Song Reader. Foregoing the traditional route of writing and recording a new album, Beck decided to simply notate his new songs, without even playing them himself. Produced by Faber And Faber, the UK based publisher, Beck Hansen's Song Reader will be released in the form of a hardcover set containing twenty full-color booklets of sheet music including matching art. To listen to his new album you would have to perform it yourself.
In "A Preface To Song Reader" published by The New Yorker, Beck insists that his choice of format is not a gimmick, but simply a new format to experiment with – "I think there's something human in sheet music, something that doesn't depend on technology to facilitate it - it's a way of opening music up to what someone else is able to bring to it." He goes on to reveal that this is an idea he's had since the mid '90s when a publisher commisioned the notation of one of his songs.