Morning Phase

  • Record Label: Capitol
  • Release Date: Feb 25, 2014
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 131 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 131

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  1. Feb 26, 2014
    9
    Derivative, but so what? Beck's already told us this is a "companion piece" to Sea Change, and hipster outposts like Pitchfork are wondering why this isn't genre-bending or outside-of-the-box (read: okay to name-drop yet barely listenable). A lush, timeless album devoid of wise-ass humor and pretense, and a welcome respite from the aural assault of modern life. An album that will startDerivative, but so what? Beck's already told us this is a "companion piece" to Sea Change, and hipster outposts like Pitchfork are wondering why this isn't genre-bending or outside-of-the-box (read: okay to name-drop yet barely listenable). A lush, timeless album devoid of wise-ass humor and pretense, and a welcome respite from the aural assault of modern life. An album that will start many of my days and wind down my nights this year. Expand
  2. Feb 26, 2014
    10
    This album really grew on me over the course of a few listens. So much so, that I find that it has become my favorite beck album since sea change. I found it more interesting than sea change as well.
  3. Feb 25, 2014
    9
    A very warm record to wake up to that plays like one cohesive long soundscape. It's very consistent, great orchestration and production. It's a real grower and invites me to play it over and over. Much easier to listen to than Sea Change for me, which was quite depressing and unsettling. Recommended!
  4. Aug 5, 2015
    9
    Excellent album. Beautiful lines throughout and the tracks gel very well together. The album starts out fantastically containing the three best tracks, Morning, Heart is a Drum, and especially Blue Moon. Whilst the middle of the album is a little slow, it ends very well. Definitely deserves Album of the Year, Beck's finest work in my opinion.
  5. Feb 25, 2014
    9
    Um bom disco que se completa a cada musica tocada em uma sincronia quase perfeita.Nunca fui muito fã de beck porem esse disco tem algo que me faz lembrar de coisas boas da vida alem de ser um som muito carismático de uma forma que deixa seus ouvidos atentos a cada nota.
  6. Mar 3, 2014
    8
    I greatly enjoyed this album. I especially appreciated the dreamy feeling in beautiful tracks like Morning, Blue Moon, Unforgiven, Wave, and Waking Light.

    I wish the rest of the album had the same atmosphere, though. Not that they were bad, just a bit inconsistent with the mesmerizing tracks mentioned above.
  7. Mar 23, 2014
    7
    Unlike many of the other user reviewers, I don't see this as an album that grows on you over a long period of time. I listened to it a few times the first week it was out, but haven't come back to it much since - perhaps cause of the flux of great albums out in the past month or so and a rediscovery of Panda Bear. As an album, it's pretty spectacular and I see why it's been hailed as theUnlike many of the other user reviewers, I don't see this as an album that grows on you over a long period of time. I listened to it a few times the first week it was out, but haven't come back to it much since - perhaps cause of the flux of great albums out in the past month or so and a rediscovery of Panda Bear. As an album, it's pretty spectacular and I see why it's been hailed as the long awaited follow up to Sea Change, which personally was never my favorite Beck album (that belongs to Modern Guilt, which is strange). I know a lot of critics have complained that Beck hasn't ventured far enough on this album, but why should he when he can make good stuff like this? Expand
  8. Mar 24, 2014
    9
    Sure, this album is definitely not for your average listener. But if you are one of those people who like to get lost in headphone music, this one is for you.
    Beck has a strange way of sounding retro, while delivering something you have never heard before. But this time it was like I could almost put my finger on it...
    It was like he used a time machine and snuck into the studio (Decca
    Sure, this album is definitely not for your average listener. But if you are one of those people who like to get lost in headphone music, this one is for you.
    Beck has a strange way of sounding retro, while delivering something you have never heard before. But this time it was like I could almost put my finger on it...
    It was like he used a time machine and snuck into the studio (Decca studios, London 1967) where the Moody Blues recorded "Days of Future Passed". Not that there is any huge similarities, just that the sounds land on your ears in a similar way. Big reverb and backing vocals sounding like they are being projected from then end of a giant hall...
    Not sure how he does it, but you simply cannot draw an exact comparison to anything... which is of course the genius of Beck.
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  9. Mar 25, 2014
    9
    Beck's "comeback" album is an absolute gem & early contender for AOTY. It approaches the typical "breakup" theme in a unique, fresh & vividly believable way, and is back by beautiful rich folk instrumentation. Another fantastic step in Beck's evolution as a songwriter that I think even surpasses Sea Change.

    (For my much more in-depth review, look up "Spin It Reviews" on YouTube.)
  10. Apr 24, 2014
    9
    Some reviewers have criticized this album for being too one-note. All of the songs are similar in terms of tempo. However, on his albums Beck more often than not draws from a variety of different genres / sub-genres and influences, and Morning Phase is no different. Each song differentiates itself in terms of sub-genre and influence from a musical predecessor (notably Nick Drake and SimonSome reviewers have criticized this album for being too one-note. All of the songs are similar in terms of tempo. However, on his albums Beck more often than not draws from a variety of different genres / sub-genres and influences, and Morning Phase is no different. Each song differentiates itself in terms of sub-genre and influence from a musical predecessor (notably Nick Drake and Simon & Garfunkel). I find this album to be a more satisfying listening experience than Sea Change because of this variety. In addition, Beck's songwriting is incredibly ingenious (as always). The album's songs are emotionally compelling, lush, poignant, and breathtaking. Even if you didn't completely enjoy Sea Change, give Morning Phase a chance; it's quiet, brooding, emotional psychedelic folk, country, and rock will enthrall and enrapture you. Expand
  11. Aug 23, 2014
    8
    http://osianlewis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/beck-morning-phase-short-glowing-review.html

    Read my review of Beck's latest album.

    'A Short Glowing Review for a Short Glowing Album'.
  12. Sep 6, 2014
    10
    One could be excused on first listen for finding this album somewhat bland. However, subsequent listens reveal more and more nuanced variety. Each track does stand on its own, but as a whole is something far more. This has become a compulsory part of our Sunday morning lie-in... and I suspect this was the intention all along.
  13. Sep 9, 2014
    9
    By "companion piece" I think we understand something that is equal, that stands for the same thing, I don't see this album as a "sequel" or the second part of 2002's Sea Change, Morning Phase has it's own approach and mood. How is it?

    Excellent. Beck is multi-genre craftsman, and you can like Midnite Vultures as equally as you can like this one. The album transmits and really comforts
    By "companion piece" I think we understand something that is equal, that stands for the same thing, I don't see this album as a "sequel" or the second part of 2002's Sea Change, Morning Phase has it's own approach and mood. How is it?

    Excellent. Beck is multi-genre craftsman, and you can like Midnite Vultures as equally as you can like this one. The album transmits and really comforts in a special way, the songs are produced consitently and beautifully. Beck knows when to do things, when to add, when to take off, and the result is a perfect combination of blandness and evocative lyrics that it's highly recommended.
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  14. Dec 9, 2014
    8
    I disagree that it's a much better record than Sea Change, but it's a worthy follow-up. It's bright and shiny and light-weight. And confident. And content. Pretty much everything Beck has done has been great, even that first record that no one talks about anymore except a few poor souls who still consider it Beck's only real contribution to modern music. These mellow records though, theyI disagree that it's a much better record than Sea Change, but it's a worthy follow-up. It's bright and shiny and light-weight. And confident. And content. Pretty much everything Beck has done has been great, even that first record that no one talks about anymore except a few poor souls who still consider it Beck's only real contribution to modern music. These mellow records though, they are something fantastic. Expand
  15. Feb 21, 2015
    10
    Though the gestation of this album has taken some time, I have emerged beyond my distaste for what might or might not be his Scientology, to realize that Beck Hansen has recorded an album of most to almost all of perfection. I have been so thoroughly pleased with Sea Change that any challenger from Beck has had some difficulty for me, mostly with Modern Guilt, which I completely did notThough the gestation of this album has taken some time, I have emerged beyond my distaste for what might or might not be his Scientology, to realize that Beck Hansen has recorded an album of most to almost all of perfection. I have been so thoroughly pleased with Sea Change that any challenger from Beck has had some difficulty for me, mostly with Modern Guilt, which I completely did not get (understand), until I bought another copy having thrown out the first. Though Modern Guilt and Morning Phase may require some study of the lyrics to acquaint oneself with their genius. both are submissions of the highest order, with Morning Phase besting the other by just a hair or two. Expand
  16. Mar 2, 2015
    8
    A Collection of music that in the right moment could take you out of this world. The sound of the music and the voice of the singer are somehow liberating. It's a wonderful journey through some kind of dream where beck is the pilot.
  17. Mar 11, 2015
    8
    Standing right here/ with a beer and my hand/ and my mouth is full of sand/ and i don’t understand. Beck, le soul suckin jerk des années 90 a réussi là ou plusieurs ont échoué. Au fil des années, il a imposé son authenticité comme unique marque de commerce. Alors que Mellow Gold célèbre son 20e anniversaire en 2014, l’auteur-compositeur-interprète américain nous présente son 9e albumStanding right here/ with a beer and my hand/ and my mouth is full of sand/ and i don’t understand. Beck, le soul suckin jerk des années 90 a réussi là ou plusieurs ont échoué. Au fil des années, il a imposé son authenticité comme unique marque de commerce. Alors que Mellow Gold célèbre son 20e anniversaire en 2014, l’auteur-compositeur-interprète américain nous présente son 9e album studio, Morning Phase. Une œuvre plus qu’attendue alors que Modern Guilt a parue en 2009. En fait, l’éclectisme de Beck s’est traduit à travers plusieurs productions musicales dont Charlottes Gaingsbourg, son non-célèbre record club, des bandes sonores originales de films, de la musique de jeux vidéo, un réarrangement de la musique de Philip Glass et, entre autres, quelques singles (…) Ce cheminement créatif me laisse l’impression que l’homme avait un besoin de revenir à la source de son inspiration.

    Dès les premières notes (même la pochette de l’album y est pour quelque chose), Morning Phase s’introduit comme la suite logique du dramatique et contemplatif album Sea Changes. La forme de l’album est effectivement assez semblable alors que les lourds effets électroniques de the Information et de Guero ont fait place aux origines musicales blues-country-folk de Beck. Musicalement, sa voix dessert particulièrement bien cet album muni d’ambiances tranquilles, parfois étranges et profondes. Nous sommes replongés dans la période mélancolique et tortueuse du quadragénaire. Morning Phase offre des teintes inspirées des Dylan, Young et Drake de ce monde. Mis à part les nombreux arrangements de cordes, Morning Phase est un album sans artifice sonore à l’écoute duquel fusionnent doucement les 13 pistes qui le compose.

    C’est dans l’écriture des textes que Morning Phase se distingue réellement de ses autres productions, particulièrement Sea Changes. Alors que Modern Guilt clame que le monde tel que nous le connaissons implose et que Sea Changes ne laisse qu’un tout petit corridor à l’amour véritable, cette production offre des pièces qui semblent venir d’un lourd passé : Cause these are the words we use to say goodbye/ these are the words you use to say goodbye/ Bone crack, curtains drawns/ on my back, and she is gone. Un album lumineux construit pour accentuer cette renaissance émotionnelle et musicale. Morning Phase est optimiste. Si son intention était de boucler la boucle avec ses antécédents, artistiquement c’est réussi. Mais 5 ans d’attente pour une œuvre aussi intime et personnelle me laisse plus ou moins sur ma faim.

    J’aurais été grandement déçu si son retour ne s’était limité qu’à treize jolies et intimes chansons. Mais à l’heure actuelle, le multidirectionnel Beck prépare la sortie d’un deuxième album, encore sans nom, pour lequel Pharell et Jack White ont déjà confirmé leur collaboration. Dans cette optique, Morning Phase sera redéfini à l’écoute de ce deuxième album. Sans aucun doute un autre exemple de la grande capacité d’authenticité dont sait faire preuve Beck. En ce sens, l’album est excellent.
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  18. Mar 20, 2015
    8
    Simplistic at first, these almost ambient sounding tracks grow on you as the lyrics become clearer and the melancholic mood keeps rising until it overpowers the entire album.
  19. Apr 12, 2015
    10
    Um álbum simples e comovente, sem letras apelativas e chicletes como a maioria é hoje em dia, obviamente foi mais do que merecido, esse hinário ter ganho o grammy de Álbum do Ano.
  20. May 13, 2015
    8
    Although I’m not a person who cares too much about music trends and popularity, I couldn’t help but check the results of last week’s Grammys. As most people know, the winner for “Album of the Year” at the Grammys came as a complete surprise. Without getting too philosophical or turning this post into a musical thesis, I will say that seeing Beck’s “Morning Phase” win this award left meAlthough I’m not a person who cares too much about music trends and popularity, I couldn’t help but check the results of last week’s Grammys. As most people know, the winner for “Album of the Year” at the Grammys came as a complete surprise. Without getting too philosophical or turning this post into a musical thesis, I will say that seeing Beck’s “Morning Phase” win this award left me both confused and satisfied; confused because of the collective shock that almost everyone experienced, and satisfied that such a talented musician was praised for his work. Having not heard the album before the Grammys, I immediately found and listened to “Morning Phase.” This Grammy winner is the center of my next review.

    Beck Hansen, residing in Los Angeles, CA, is a very talented multi-instrumentalist whose career has spanned over twelve albums and thirty years. The first album I heard by him was “Odelay,” an interesting mix of contemporary rock, folk, and even old-school rap. I was surprised to learn that each album has its own unique style. Only this week I listened to “Morning Phase,” an album easily influenced by folk and country rock. Spending 3/4 of an hour listening to this album, I found myself surprisingly enjoying this album.

    The calm, acoustic sound is very relaxing, and I love focusing on the instruments used in this album. Ranging from guitars, to banjos, to dulcimers, to glockenspiels, “Morning Phase” provides the most unique arrangement of instruments I have seen in any album I’ve heard. It is truly amazing to see such talent and collaboration with musicians.

    Although this album contains songs entirely different than those I usually listen to, some songs on “Morning Phase” stood out to me. The album’s single “Blue Moon” may be the album’s most noticeable, but it is also one of the album’s best. Containing that amazing arrangement of multiple instruments, Beck’s vocals complements the band perfectly. A song of loneliness and losing connection with a loved one, I love the song’s chorus that perfectly demonstrates how we all try our hardest when we’re about to lose a relationship with a loved one:

    “Oh don’t leave me on my own / Left me standing all alone / Cut me down to size so I can fit inside / Lies that will divide us both in time.”

    Another favorite of mine is the next track on the album, “Unforgiven.” Continuing the feeling of loss and waiting for what is to come next, the song’s lyrics perfectly reflect a scene in which a partner leaves and drives away:

    “Drive to the night far as it goes / Away from the daylight into the afterglow / Somewhere unforgiven / Time will wait for you / Down on the street just let the engine run / ‘Til there’s nothing left except the damage done”

    The simple and insightful lyrics are very relatable, and help to reflect on those we love. Every time I listen to “Morning Phase,” it helps to treat this album like a concept album, in which the character recalls past memories and looks forward to an unknown future. I like to listen to this album before falling asleep because of the easy-going nature, and like to imagine the story as it evolves through the album.

    Beck’s “Morning Phase” is a surprising addition to my iTunes library, and is one of my most repeated albums over the past week.

    Excerpt taken from Keno's Album Review
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  21. May 28, 2015
    7
    This albums really truly is beautiful. As a work of art this album s extremely commendable. However, this does not save it from being rather bland and boring, the novelty of Beck moaning whilst strumming guitar chords sort of wears off too quickly. Songs like Blue Moon really save this album from being overly dry and boring. If you wish to truly appreciate this album don't go into itThis albums really truly is beautiful. As a work of art this album s extremely commendable. However, this does not save it from being rather bland and boring, the novelty of Beck moaning whilst strumming guitar chords sort of wears off too quickly. Songs like Blue Moon really save this album from being overly dry and boring. If you wish to truly appreciate this album don't go into it expecting a "becky" album, that's what I did and I was honestly disappointed, yet happily surprised, but still more disappointed than happy you know what I mean. I just wanted a little more "beck" and a little less "eck". This album did grow on me though at first i was like "this is totally horribly boring, I'm gonna hit up some Odelay and Mellow Gold" but then I was like "this is different, but I like it" Expand
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. Mar 12, 2014
    75
    Morning Phase is ultimately a mood piece: a quiet triumph of feeling over form. [No. 107, p.51]
  2. Mar 6, 2014
    80
    There’s an eerie blandness to the mood that is initially off-putting but turns into a surprisingly compelling, subtly evocative combination of sadness and contentedness.
  3. Mar 3, 2014
    70
    I was hoping for a leap forward, but Morning Phase just feels like a very pretty place to sit and wait for one.