One of the most inventive and eclectic figures to emerge from the '90s alternative revolution, Beck was the epitome of postmodern chic in an era obsessed with junk culture. Drawing upon a kaleidoscope of influences -- pop, folk, psychedelia, hip-hop, country, blues, R&B, funk, indie rock, noise rock, experimental rock, jazz, lounge, Brazilian music -- Beck created a body of work that was wildly unpredictable, vibrantly messy, and bursting with ideas. He was unquestionably a product of the media age -- a synthesist whose concoctions were pasted together from bits of the past and present, in ways that could only occur to an overexposed pop-culture junkie. His surreal, free-associative lyrics were laced with warped imagery and a sardonic sense of humor that, while typical of the times, only rarely threatened the impact of his adventurous music. Beck appropriated freely from whatever genres he felt like, juxtaposing sounds that would never have co-existed organically (and his habitual irony made clear that he wasn't aiming for authenticity in the first place). If his musical style was impossible to pigeonhole, his true identity lay in that rootless, sprawling diversity, that determination to acknowledge no boundaries or conventions; everything he did bore the stamp of his distinctively skewed viewpoint.