Morning Phase Image

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

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 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: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  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. 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
  3. Feb 26, 2014
    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 start many of my days and wind down my nights this year. 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. Mar 23, 2014
    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 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
  6. Mar 3, 2014
    Gotta admire Beck's adventurous musical catalog. As an immediate addict of Odelay, I found it hard to appreciate Sea Change until I went through a painful breakup. I think Morning Phase is similar in that regard. It's not an "every mood any mood" kind of album that will keep the average listener engaged for an entire album. And that's my biggest problem here. There are a few songs that MIGHT end up as favorites in the distant future IF they have a chance to grow on me. But will I have the patience to allow that process to happen if I'm not depressed for more than a few days at a time where an album like this might suit constant rotation? Even if.... I'd sooner put on something else. There are "moments" that are hooky on this album, but you have to wait for them and pan for gold amidst a very blended and neutral sonic landscape that gets stale rather quickly. Two turn tables and a microphone this is not. More like two downers and a large bag of plain potatoes chips. 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 14 User Reviews