Morning Phase Image

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 82 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 12th studio release for the singer-songwriter includes contributions from Jason Falkner, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Justin Meldal-Johnsen, and Joey Waronker.
  • Record Label: Capitol
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. Feb 12, 2014
    It's reassuring that Beck Hansen can still pull an original record as substantive and absorbing as this one out of the hat. [Mar 2014, p.86]
  2. Feb 18, 2014
    Beck proves once again here that he’s a tremendously versatile artist, capable of excelling throughout the musical spectrum.
  3. Feb 12, 2014
    Morning Phase is a terrific mood piece and a worthy follow-up, even if in spirit only, to Sea Change; it lacks the gripping unease of that album, but replaces it capably with genuine warmth and a sunnier outlook.
  4. Feb 19, 2014
    It might share some sonic similarities [to Sea Change], but it's an altogether brighter beast, built by an older, wiser soul who seems to have been taking a few years to work out exactly where he wants to be as an artist.
  5. Mar 6, 2014
    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.
  6. Feb 25, 2014
    True to his transformer's nature, the sequel is better than the original.
  7. Feb 24, 2014
    So, largely unimaginative arrangements, flat delivery, a surfeit of vague ecological metaphors that wash like spray on the rocks (you can have that one for free, Mr. Hansen), and a lack of any sense of connection, of need, of reality.

See all 46 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Feb 26, 2014
    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. Expand
  2. Mar 25, 2014
    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.)
  3. Feb 25, 2014
    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! Expand
  4. Mar 3, 2014
    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.
  5. Aug 27, 2014
    I don't want to be harsh on an artist for doing something different. We don't want repeat albums that sound the same. This album just didn't resonate with me as much, but that's not to say that I don't like it either. I think I just like Sir Beck a little more when he is rocking a little, or just being bizarre. Musically it's still quite nice, but for me it will likely be one of the albums I return to less often. Expand
  6. Apr 24, 2014
    Morning Phase shows Beck returning to the stylistics shifts of albums like Mutations and Sea Change, but with instrumentation and tunes that are far more uninteresting and bland. It sounds more like Sea Change than Mutations, it's even been regarded as its sister album. The same acoustic guitars, warm strings, pianos and vocal deliveries. This is way more optimistic of an album though. Some people might like the slow and syrupy instrumentation of these records in his discography, i do not. Expand
  7. Jul 29, 2014
    Ho-Hum. Rock and Roll it isn't. The darling of professional music critics and fans of wimpy music. LOSER was the only song he ever did that I enjoyed. When I listened to his later stuff, it was like taking a sleeping pill. I'm a fan of rock and roll. I don't know what Beck is, but he's definitely not a rocker. If he puts out a good metal album, I'll be impressed. Until then, he's just such a bore. A likable little artsy guy, but for people who love to lie around looking at clouds and falling asleep. I would be willing to bet that heroin addicts love his music. Because they love being put to sleep. But I'll give him credit. He made the sales to allow him to indulge himself in whatever he wants. Which will probably be making boring music for the rest of his life. Expand

See all 16 User Reviews