Beck – Morning Phase


Artist

Album

Morning Phase

Label

Capitol

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Ryan Adams - The Beatles

Summary

Sunday morning music for your lighthouse.

Rating

85 / 100

It’s been a little while since we heard from Beck, seven years in fact. The musician has been keeping busy in that time collaborating with other artists and working on tracks for what now comprises this, his twelfth studio album.

‘Morning Phase’ suggests that Beck may be slowing down a little as he ages, toning back the quirk to deliver indie rock with substance and a palate of delightful sounds to wake up to in the morning. However, when you realise that Beck has written this record as a companion piece to his 2002 release ‘Sea Change,’ everything makes sense. The sweeping gentle sounds, beautiful harmonies, the beach side "I live in a lighthouse now" feel, it’s all there.

Opener ‘Morning’ is an immediate stand-out, driven by a smooth acoustic guitar and topped off with shimmering percussion and a gentle piano line. Beck is easing us back into his seaside world with his haunting falsetto. ‘Say Goodbye’ is the first point where things start to wake up a little bit, mainly due to its stripped back but driving beat, offset against some direct guitar and banjo, while the songwriter croons about a love who has said goodbye and the aftermath that ensues.

One thing Beck is using to his advantage once again on this record is his powerful melodies. They overrun the full-length and make these songs extremely memorable. The album’s first single ‘Blue Moon’ brings the banjo to the foreground with a rolling drum line and its opening cry "I’m so tired of being alone." The song has a grandiose backing thanks to its piano lines, reverberated guitars and floating backing vocals right before the phased out groove of ‘Unforgiven’.

For the majority, the acoustic feel is the cornerstone of the album as Beck reminds us what he can do with a simple guitar in the country sway of ‘Blackbird Chain’, a song that mirrors the Brit rock tendencies Beck had in his earlier material.

The record closes out with the slow folk of Country Down and the piano driven second single Waking Light, another melody heavy ditty to ring around your mind.

Conclusion

Beck took his time crafting his songs to near perfection for this album. however this is a much more mature and relaxed version of the loser that we all know and love.

Tracklisting

1. Cycle
2. Morning
3. Heart Is A Drum
4. Say Goodbye
5. Blue Moon
6. Unforgiven
7. Wave
8. Don’t Let It Go
9. Blackbird Chain
10. Phase
11. Turn Away
12. Country Down
13. Waking Light

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