Rolling Stone

by Will Hermes
October 13, 2017


Throughout Beck’s nearly 25-year career, his finest moments – oddball hip-hop hits like “Loser” and “Where It’s At,” the 1999 funk romp Midnite Vultures, the 2014 folk-rock dark horse Morning Phase – have mixed sincere musical crate-digging with winking self-awareness. It’s a balancing act that can easily tilt into cheap parody, and while many artists have followed Beck’s lead (Father John Misty being the most prominent recent example), few have done it with Beck’s range, wit or soul. Which is why Colors is so welcome; it’s a brilliant attempt to reckon with – and put his own stamp on – modern pop in the late 2010s. The result is his most straight-ahead fun album since the Nineties.

The first signs of his new project surfaced in 2015 with the glistening “Dreams”: funky, chrome-plated rhythm guitar with multifarious vocals – falsetto, wildly pitch-shifted – ricocheting like spotlights off a disco ball amid Eighties electro-pop and Seventies stadium-rock flourishes. Over those carpet-bombing hooks, our hero declares himself “about a lightyear from reality,” shouting out a girl (likely his paramour, Marissa Ribisi) who’s making him high. The 2016 single “Wow” found him higher still, with red-eyed trap beats and a kaleidoscope of whistling tones, Beck rhyming “jujitsu” and “girl with a Shih Tzu” with a baked old-school flow. The funniest stoner jam in ages, it was a long way from the moony Morning Phase, but no less compelling.

Rolling Stone

by Brittany Spanos
August 18, 2017

Amy Lee

This fall, Evanescence will release their fourth full-length album, Synthesis. The album features orchestral reworkings of various tracks from their back catalog, as well as two new songs, one of which will debut next month. Ahead of the release, the band is streaming a cinematic take on their biggest hit, “Bring Me to Life,” premiering here.

Singer Amy Lee soars above an arrangement by composer (and Beck’s father) David Campbell. The big, dramatic track feels a bit more stripped down without the heavy guitars and drums it famously featured in its original version, released on Evanescence’s 2003 debut, Fallen.

“‘Bring Me to Life’ is new to me again after 15 years,” Lee tells Rolling Stone of the orchestral version, which is now available for download and streaming. “It’s difficult to explain how good that makes me feel. Having the chance to incorporate things I’ve heard in my head throughout that long period of time, nuances from the way I sing it live, just pouring the weight and perspective of the life I’ve lived now back into that root – it’s pure satisfaction.”

The Tennessean

February 4, 2016

B52s Nashville

The B-52s

“David Campbell did the Hollywood Bowl orchestra arrangements, and they were so phenomenal. We got a mock-up of them beforehand. He said, ‘Are there any comments?’ I just said, ‘Go for it. Go wild!’ …”

-Kate Pierson Interviewed by Dave Paulson
Read the full article here.

Rolling Stone

December 3, 2015


Dream Theater

Dream Theater bolstered its sound on The Astonishing with a full orchestra, multiple choirs and a clutch of unorthodox instruments. Enlisted to muster those forces was David Campbell, a veteran conductor and orchestrator whose extensive credits include work for film, Broadway, and more than 450 gold and platinum albums by the likes of Paul McCartney, Rush, My Chemical Romance and Campbell’s son, Beck.

-Steve Smith
Read the full article here.

D Magazine

May 18, 2015


St. Vincent

“Of course, it’s nothing new for a pop star to collaborate with an orchestra, but this performance was more fully integrated than any I’ve seen before. […]visually and musically there was always equilibrium. Bows bounced to the beat against strings, trumpets and trombones blurted out catchy riffs, and the harp and marimba provided interesting textural range.”

-Catherine Womack
Read the full article here.

Huffington Post

March 5, 2015

Campbell is an “arranger, orchestrator, conductor and sometimes session player,” and he’s worked on some of the biggest albums of the last 50 years: Adele’s “21,” Taylor Swift’s “Red,” Carole King’s “Tapestry” and Justin Timberlake’s” FutureSex/LoveSounds” (as well as many of his son’s albums including “Morning Phase”). Campbell also played viola during recording sessions for Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me,” among others.
Sounds like a man who is an artist and respects the artistry.
-Stephanie Marcus
Read the full article here.

Toronto Star

June 14, 2014

You may think an artist, such as Beck, who has sold more than 10 million records, is a big deal, but meet the man who has helped sell nearly 1 billion.
His dad.
Toronto-born David Campbell may not be as publicly renowned as his son, but as an arranger, orchestrator, conductor and sometimes session player, he’s appeared on some of the biggest albums of the past five decades…

-Nick Krewen
Read the full article here.

Wall Street Journal

May 20, 2014

David Campbell

“I’ve never had an elitist point of view,” the lanky, thoughtful Mr. Campbell said here at the Norton Simon Museum, a short drive from his Glendale home. “I really believe the best music provokes an instant, visceral response.” He mentioned as an example his orchestration for the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” one of the biggest hits of the 1990s…

-Jim Fusilli
Read the full article here.