Beck

Morning Phase

Written by: PP on 08/03/2014 17:24:16

One of the most revered multi-instrumentalists and singer-songwriters of the last two decades has been Beck, whom I'm sure all of us know at least from 1994's mega hit "Loser" if not for the other, often critically acclaimed material he has put out over the years. It's been six years since his last effort, so fans of indie-flavored folk/singer-songwriter have been anticipating the release of "Morning Phase" eagerly, and it turns out it hasn't been for nothing.

Like most Beck albums before "Morning Phase", experimentation runs deep in his veins and so the soundscapes we're presented to range from the rich and detailed, even orchestral ones to the soothing and stunning ones that have more in common with Radiohead's sample-oriented electronica rock. "Morning Phase" has therefore rightfully been described as a companion piece to 2002's "Sea Change", in that this is a way softer and more relaxing album with lots of spacious string instrumentation, acoustic guitars, short samples, and calm and contained singing for the most part. On occasion, like on "Say Goodbye", we are thrown back towards the alternative rock side of Beck, though here, too, it's primarily from a singer-songwriter and folk perspective than the "Loser"-era louder rock music one.

That makes "Morning Phase" a very experimental album, characterized by songs like "Wave" which explore minimalism and sonic space. These are the weakness of the album; too little content for my tastes. It is the subtle catchyness fo "Morning", and the warm, campfire-like "Don't Let It Go" that are the highlights on this album. Either way, Beck fans will like this for sure, others will need a few listens for it to grow on you.

7

Download: Morning, Heart is A Drum, Say Goodbye, Don't Let It Go
For the fans of: Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Wilco
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.02.2014
Capitol Records

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