Beck’s “Morning Phase” brings Somber and Bliss to listeners.


Full Disclaimer: I am not an avid Beck listener, nor have I listened to any of his albums in full. But of course I know his hit song from the 90’s, “Loser”, and from many episodes of Futurama. I am aware of his impact in Pop Culture as being an artist who’s not afraid to experiment with his lyrics and musical composition. Now with that being said, lets get started with this album review of his new album Morning Phase.

beck 1I didn’t want to go in blind, so of course I did some research. This album is a follow up to his 2002 LP, Sea Changes. Being that it has been a long time, I hope fans got what they wanted to hear. What I got from a first listen was a slow-paced, dynamic album that can put anyone into a state of serenity and peace. It starts with an orchestral introduction that lasts forty seconds and sets the mood for the “Morning Phase.” “Morning” is a calm song that really fits the theme of the album of starting a brand new day or reflecting on past events. With a steady acoustic guitar strum, toned down drums, and a soft accompanying orchestra, this begins the album on a great note. The thumping bass drum of “Heart is a Drum” can get one to tap their feet while pondering upon what Beck is trying to say. “Say Goodbye” can reveal to the listener of the heartbreak that may have inspired the rest of the tracks. By adding extra effects such as a reverb to the guitar and even his voice can make a listener feel distant and somber. The layering of his harmonies gives his tracks more depth and feeling. “Blue Moon” picks up the pace, but it doesn’t break away from the melancholy emotion from the rest.  “Unforgiven” brings it right back down to  a slow tempo, continuing his wave of sadness and emotion. “Wave” brings in a powerful orchestral piece in the beginning of the next song as if starting the second act of his album. A haunting violin carries the track as Beck continues to sing his gloomy lyrics. “Don’t Let It Go” brings it back to the simplistic band of guitar, piano, and drums. It also brings in a folky vibe. “Blackbird Chain” continues with the folk song style with a dancing bass line unlike any other song on the album. “Phase” plays another minute long orchestral piece as if signaling the last act. The last three tracks, “Turn Away,” “Country Down,” and “Waking Light” have more of a country folk inspired sound. The last song ends with a hopeful tone that brings the listener full circle.

As a body of musical work, I enjoyed it. Morning Phase really draws a listener into a morning of self reflection. I also appreciate the lyrical choices beckmade by Beck, it makes me more interested and hooked to a song; such as such as, “Your heart is a drum/ Keeping it’s time with everyone” or “A symbol of your exegesis in a full-length mirror/ I’ll never refuse.” The production of this album brings great musical composition in each track, and it should definitely be given a listen.

This is not the 90’s Beck that you can run around to. Keep calm and listen on.

If you’re in a certain mood of peaceful somberness, listen to the album, whether you’re a first time Beck listener, or an avid Beck fanatic.


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