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Beck – Morning Phase

March 2, 2014

Beck mp

I came to Beck well after his first splash in the early 90s.  When “Loser” was in ubiquitous rotation I assumed that Beck was just a novelty act.  I somehow completely missed Odelay the first time around.  I became a fan after the one two punch of the “R&B Beck” of Midnight Vultures and the “sad-Beck” of the melancholy classic Sea Changes at the turn of the millennium.    Then I backtracked and realized what a true genius he was on Mellow Gold and Odelay.  After Sea Changes I would religiously pick up his latest release, but those albums never resonated with me.  So I as pretty excited to hear the pre-release hype for Morning Phase which suggested a return of the “sad-Beck” and a  sequel of sorts to Sea Change.

Well it lives up to the hype.  If you liked Sea Change you are going to like Morning Phase.  As much as I liked Sea Change it seemed like an experiment, whereas Morning Phase feels more natural/organic. A suitable album for a pop star’s first album in his 40s.  The album has lots of Classic Rock flourishes: a bit of a Moody Blues, the mellow side of Pink Floyd, the ballad side of Elton John, Nick Drake, Neil Young and even some Simon and Garfunkel.  It is very atmospheric and wonderfully melancholy.  The arrangements are rewarding and only reveal themselves slowly after repeated listens – the first couple of passes it sounds muddy and dull – so hang in there and give it at least five attentive listens – there is a payoff.  It is great to have the Beck I love back in rotation.  A little taste below:

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From → Music Reviews

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