Friday, February 28, 2014

Beck - Morning Phase

I've been digging through Beck's catalog in anticipation of the new record. Morning Phase doesn't live up to the potential of some his past works, but there are still many things to like about this record. My favorite aspect is that this is gentle, relaxing music rife with an early morning ocean/beach type feel. I'm not sure if this album is better than its 2002 companion piece, Sea Change, but there is a vintage, 1960/70s California feel that comes across very powerfully. The beautiful, swirling strings wash over the listener, delivering a dynamic, restorative emotional impact while still maintaining a sense of simplicity.

"Turn Away" could have been a Simon & Garfunkel song, while Beck's plea for togetherness on "Blue Moon" marks some of his most earnest and heart rending lyrics. This is not my favorite side of Beck, and probably not an album I'll come back to very often as the year progresses. But it's still a very good record, not to mention that it is still rewarding to find a piece of singer/songwriter folk these days that doesn't reek of Mumfords/Lumineers coffee counter slop. Morning Phase should bear a strong appeal to anyone who loved Sea Change, or just anyone who's a fan of the genre.

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