Album Reviews

Beck – Morning Phase – Album Review


This album is billed as “a sequel to Sea Change, the brooding 2002 record frequently mentioned as his masterpiece.” First off, was Sea Change a masterpiece? Secondly, can the album not stand on its own two feet? Does it really need this crutch or hindrance of comparison?

Either way, Beck’s 12th album finds him much changed from the creature he was on his first few albums. There is nothing raw or earthy about this sound, and if you were picking adjectives, it would be lush and rich. It is a quiet album, and largely only contains acoustic guitars, strings and Becks own heavily layers voice (a choir of Becks, so to speak). This is pretty much easy listening, and very far removed from the banging and raucous sound of the heady days of his youth. The musical arrangements would remind me more of a Kate Bush album than the Loser himself.

Having said that, I quite enjoy Kate Bush! Once you allow yourself to see the album for what it is, it’s really quite impressive. A number of songs start on acoustic guitar and vocal, but build into full orchestral narratives. More is definitely more on this album, and it may have over stepped the mark in terms of the production values, but as the big, brash beast that it is, it’s quite huggable. Beck is definitely entering his Las Vegas phase, but at the end of the day, there’s still heart and emotion in what he does.

The full album can be found here, on NPR.

1. “Cycle” 0:39

2. “Morning” 5:19

3. “Heart Is A Drum” 4:31

4. “Say Goodbye” 3:29

5. “Blue Moon” 4:02

6. “Unforgiven” 4:34

7. “Wave” 3:40

8. “Don’t Let It Go” 3:09

9. “Blackbird Chain” 4:26

10. “Phase” 1:07

11. “Turn Away” 3:05

12. “Country Down” 4:00

13. “Waking Light” 5.00

Categories: Album Reviews, Music

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