Beck has announced that his new album “Song Reader” will be published exclusively as twenty individual pieces of sheet music, instead of in traditional LP format. The body of work, an “experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012”, will be released by McSweeney’s Publishing, and will contain twenty previously unreleased and unrecorded compositions. Each piece of music comes complete with “heyday-of-home-play-inspired” art and a hardcover carrying case. What do you think? In one sense, it’s certainly going to drive more people to go see Beck perform live if fans want a chance to actually hear the music, but I guess apart from a core of die-hards, not many people are going to bother buying the sheet music and learning the parts to jam the album with their friends. It also raises the question of how the songs are actually ‘meant’ to sound… although maybe that’s the point. Or maybe Scarlett Johanssen should just do a covers version and spare us the trouble.

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