On his tour behind 2006's The Information, Beck and his band were accompanied by a troupe of marionette doppelgängers. Projected onto a big screen, the dot-eyed puppets mimicked the group with uncanny accuracy; if Beck triumphantly raised his hand during "Devil's Haircut", his counterpart quickly followed. As the distance between concert DVDs and concerts themselves continues to dwindle, the puppet scheme was a winning example of spontaneous, analog cleverness. It was also a crafty bit of outsourcing. The cute figurines provided much of the night's visual entertainment while offering a distraction from Beck's increasingly uninvolved performances. Since the famed stops on his Odelay tour more than a decade ago, he's become a static shell of his former break-dancing, bed-humping self. Similarly, while Beck has gotten darker and more apocalyptic, he's tried to temper his direness with upbeat, counter-punch production from the Dust Brothers, Nigel Godrich, and now, Danger Mouse. Though Modern Guilt is more direct and consistent than his last two scattershot LPs, it also finds the disillusioned L.A. hippie struggling to balance his deathly outlook with his more crowd-pleasing inclinations.