Aural Pleasure: Beck 'Morning Phase'


Beck /  Morning Phase / Capitol



Beck can do whatever the hell he wants at this point in his career. The Grammy-winning sonic astronaut has repeatedly won the adoration of critics and audiences alike and, throughout his 20 year career, has reinvented himself more times than a pathological liar. On Morning Phase, his 12th official studio release, Beck has made an album of heartsick, space-folk lullabies, in the same vein as 2002’s masterful Sea Change. In some cases, as in “Morning,” this similarity verges on self-plagiarism and feels a bit forced. But for most of the record Beck finds new, decidedly more upbeat solutions to the same problems he pessimistically dealt with on Sea Change. The tones and some of the shades are the same, but it’s an album filled with dawn, where Sea Change was populated by dusk. Songs that follow the wanderlust country aspect of Beck’s palate, like “Say Goodbye,” “Blackbird Chain,” “Turn Away” and “Country Down,” are the brightest spots on this excellent set of dream-like meditations.