Sea Change

  • Record Label: Geffen
  • Release Date: Sep 24, 2002
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 168 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 168

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  1. j30
    Aug 11, 2011
    10
    This is Beck's best work since Odelay. The lyrics and the whole atmosphere of the album is kind of a "Debbie Downer", but in a good way. This is the kind of album you listen to on a rainy day or when your heart get's ripped out. This album is on par with Elliot Smith's Either/Or and Nick Drake's Pink Moon
  2. Teeja
    Aug 18, 2005
    10
    A beautiful deeply moving album.
  3. WesF.
    Jun 15, 2007
    10
    Was not a huge fan of Beck until I heard this record on a long trip with my brother. Sea Change is simply one of my favorite albums of all time, and I still listen to it 5 years later.
  4. AGoije
    Sep 26, 2002
    10
    Beck has once again proved that he is a genius.
  5. JimP
    Dec 28, 2002
    9
    The more you listen to it, the more you like it. It's not an easy one. But in the end, it's his best album.
  6. Mar 13, 2012
    9
    It took me the longest time to fully appreciate this album. This is Beck's most mature album to date. "The Golden Age" is a perfect opening track. All In All, might not be Beck's best work to date, but it's certainly his most mature and one if his best. A-
  7. christophern
    Oct 8, 2002
    7
    Not great, not terrible.
  8. ClarkH.
    Sep 30, 2002
    9
    with a few more listens, this jewel may climb into my "10" category reserved only for a handful of albums. if you like nick drake, gram parsons, air or "blow you away" melancholy twang, you better drop what you are doing and buy it. beck needs to lose another girlfriend because he was inspired on this one.
  9. TravisC
    Nov 1, 2002
    9
    The most refreshing album of 2002 so far. Amid the endless racket and cranked up amps comes forth and album focusing on craftsmanship, melody and beauty. I always thought Mutations was Beck's best work by far, so I'm glad to see him revisit the mood and sound of that album and expand on it further. Not the feel good album of the year as far as content, but the one of the most The most refreshing album of 2002 so far. Amid the endless racket and cranked up amps comes forth and album focusing on craftsmanship, melody and beauty. I always thought Mutations was Beck's best work by far, so I'm glad to see him revisit the mood and sound of that album and expand on it further. Not the feel good album of the year as far as content, but the one of the most uplifting albums as far as the current state of music is concerned. Expand
  10. Nitpicking
    Oct 1, 2002
    8
    It may seem a bit boring on first listen, but give it a bit time and you'll find a quite wide range of styles beautifully done.
  11. AdamF
    Oct 18, 2002
    9
    I'd like to see what those pansy ass journalists who rated it so low are saying about this album now that they've listened to it a few dozen times, which they no doubtedly have.
  12. elexa
    Nov 9, 2002
    10
    I've listened thru it once. Undoubtedly it will get better each time I play it thru. Beck's like that. Driving thru a wintery Finland in the dusk, it hits the spot. Sweet melancholy. Makes me want to love and loose just to be able to FEEL, let alone convey my emotions so beautifully. Wakes me up to life. I will spend tonight drinking red wine and playing "sea change" , basking I've listened thru it once. Undoubtedly it will get better each time I play it thru. Beck's like that. Driving thru a wintery Finland in the dusk, it hits the spot. Sweet melancholy. Makes me want to love and loose just to be able to FEEL, let alone convey my emotions so beautifully. Wakes me up to life. I will spend tonight drinking red wine and playing "sea change" , basking in that lustrous emotion of someone else's soul portrayed. Collapse
  13. JoeH
    Oct 4, 2002
    10
    Definitely his best - boyeee!
  14. MichaelE
    Oct 7, 2002
    8
    Not my favorite aspect of Beck's music, and certainly not his best record, but it's convincing and gets better the later at night you play it.
  15. MikeA.
    Sep 23, 2002
    10
    Pure brilliance, Beck has climbed to a new level, in my opinion Sea Change is the best album of the year to date...
  16. PhilipL.
    Sep 30, 2002
    10
    BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!! Beck has never been so melodic, as well as honest. This album will go down in music history.
  17. Yuval
    Apr 17, 2003
    10
    Superb album, completely connected both musically and spiritually.
  18. WillT
    Feb 24, 2007
    10
    Great album. I was never a big Beck fan but this album won me over.
  19. BobR
    Aug 10, 2007
    10
    This one's a grower... it's great
  20. GeoffH.
    Apr 5, 2008
    10
    9/10 average from 97 users says it all to me. This is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Affecting, deep and wonderfully haunting, I wonder what some of the critics were thinking but then I'll never work music critics out. They're from a world so full of their own importance things like love affairs and break ups don't exist.
  21. Bruno
    Jun 27, 2008
    10
    I really loved this album, and its amazing to find that beck produces perfect music in such different ways.
  22. JoelJ
    Oct 14, 2002
    10
    You will not like it at first, but after listening to it a few times it attachs to you and wont let go. This album is a mix between "Ok Computer" & "Mutations". If you are a Beck fan, this may be your favorite album of his.
  23. KristineN
    Nov 6, 2002
    10
    Fabulous production that's spare and raw when needed makes this album incredibly hard NOT to listen to - when I heard it was so mellow I thought I might be bored after a number of tunes, but the effect is the polar opposite: spellbinding.
  24. NateR
    Nov 7, 2002
    10
    From the opening E chord of "Golden Age", Beck has created a musical masterpiece which displays his formidable talent as a songwriter. Those hoping for a repeat of "Odelay" or "Midnight Vultures" will be disappointed, for "Sea Change" is largly a sonic boom built around simple acoustic songs with beautiful melodies and tender imagery that could survive on their own in the local coffee From the opening E chord of "Golden Age", Beck has created a musical masterpiece which displays his formidable talent as a songwriter. Those hoping for a repeat of "Odelay" or "Midnight Vultures" will be disappointed, for "Sea Change" is largly a sonic boom built around simple acoustic songs with beautiful melodies and tender imagery that could survive on their own in the local coffee house just as well as on a studio album. Similar to, but more mature, than "Mutations", Beck reveals a surprisingly emotional and sensitive side that has remained hidden until now... By baring his own soul with heartfelt songwriting rather than recording another funk-pop-hip hop-fusion album (what we've come to expect from Beck), he has outdone himself and produced something that FEELS real, rather than mechanical or techno. It takes a few listens... the album has a pretty uniform feel throughout (no "Tropicalia" to break the monotony). But, for those who appreciate good songwriting, "Sea Change" is sure to please. Beck's most mature (and arguably his best) album to date. Expand
  25. aurelios
    Nov 9, 2002
    8
    sounds like nick drake mixed with sont volt and wilco, very good songs, needs time but is really a good record, i prefer this ten times than the prince imitation record " midnite vultures"
  26. Sam
    Dec 31, 2002
    10
    Beck hurts and portrays it with something we can all enjoy. Unlucky bastard makes us very lucky indeed.
  27. Cartland
    Dec 30, 2002
    10
    This is one of the very best albums I've heard. Hopefully he'll continue making such haunting melodies. I can only compare this to the Beatles' best work. Genius!
  28. bobd
    Dec 6, 2002
    10
    beck confounds and annoys the ordinary listener by being absolutely unconcerned with their expectations. "Sea Change" is sonically breathtaking (play it LOUD!), lyrically labyrinthine (one has to pay attention to parse the actual narratives here), and emotionally searing. Not for the average debased attention span.
  29. TomerJ
    Oct 28, 2002
    9
    There are few albums that makes you wonder. When listening to Beck?s sea change for example you start wondering how devastating breaking up can get that it will turn a Comic and happy white Prince like artist to a melancholic ?I?m not sure I will live to sing my next song? Dylan. It?s his first album that you don?t envy his talent, don?t admire his vital energies you just start preparing There are few albums that makes you wonder. When listening to Beck?s sea change for example you start wondering how devastating breaking up can get that it will turn a Comic and happy white Prince like artist to a melancholic ?I?m not sure I will live to sing my next song? Dylan. It?s his first album that you don?t envy his talent, don?t admire his vital energies you just start preparing your self to the day she will walk away and you just wont have Ningel Gordich?s phone number to help you sing the pain. These kind of albums makes you become evil sometimes as well.. there a few singers that cry so harmonically that you wish they will stay that way until the next time they will walk in to their studio. Five tears indeed. Expand
  30. fabioc
    Oct 31, 2002
    10
    A perfect wall of sounds constructed around a true, pure need of avoiding love. It is Beck´s " Five leaves left ": homogeneus, inspired, extremely sad and sincere. A masterpiece.
  31. HenryA
    Oct 4, 2002
    10
    Sea change is a brilliant 'low' album. Forget springstein, young and etc's 9/11 spam offerings, get this instead. VVoice what were you thinking?
  32. TheresaS
    Oct 6, 2002
    10
    Saw him in concert before the CD even came out and I loved it! Such a personal album, and as he said it's been 7 years in the making. Well worth the wait. I have all his CDs and this one just blows my mind! It's been on repeat for 4 hours now!
  33. AaronL
    Oct 7, 2002
    8
    It's like cracking open Beck's chest, grabbing his barely beating heart, and putting it to your ear for a listen. Beautifully done and fully unexpected. Makes you truly realize that Beck is one of our best musical treasures - and these days they are difficult to come by.
  34. BobH
    Oct 7, 2002
    10
    His best yet.
  35. bobj
    Sep 22, 2002
    10
    pretty damn good
  36. BitBurn
    Sep 20, 2002
    8
    Very interesting this album. Musically it's a great record. Beck is still a very impressive and original songwriter.
  37. EtienneChanKane
    Sep 22, 2002
    9
    Awesome...
  38. AndyJ.
    Sep 22, 2002
    10
    Best Beck album yet... dont be suprised if "Sea Change" pulls an upset over Bruce Springsteen's new album at the next grammys...
  39. AG
    Sep 22, 2002
    9
    Village Voice is a whore. They don't even know what they're talking about. This album is a great bluesy record from one of the weirdest and unpredictable artists today.
  40. MikeS.
    Sep 24, 2002
    10
    fucking beautiful.
  41. JohnL.
    Sep 25, 2002
    10
    Excellent album. Lyrically and melodically his best work.
  42. TimP
    Sep 25, 2002
    9
    Wow. On first listening, I found it monotonous, but now.. what was I thinking?!?! I love all the tracks, especially "Little One"! This is a grower.
  43. JoshT.
    Sep 27, 2002
    10
    An immensely personal and heartwrenchingly sad record full of understated beauty; the year's best album.
  44. Joey
    Sep 27, 2002
    10
    Definitely a subtle but haunting and beautiful album. Deserves to be played many times, deserves to be taken seriously. Sure, the old ironic Beck is not on this album but I welcome this mature voice.
  45. JasonG.
    Sep 30, 2002
    10
    Almost as good as nick drake
  46. calvini
    Mar 13, 2003
    9
    this is by far the best american made sad bastard album, but you must listen to it many forced times before it grows on you like a fungus that won't stop till it kills you. really good stuff, especially track 4 and 5, really haunting and bueatiful, but the lite sound may throw off some who are into more heavier stuff.
  47. AndyW
    Oct 4, 2005
    9
    Wow! This is such an emotional album. With so much effort put into the songs, it's hard to press stop on it. Personal favourites: "End of the Day", "Sunday Sun", "Little One", and "The Golden Age", and "Lonesome Tears". The only letdown I think to the album is "Round the Bend" Otherwise, Beck's best album yet.
  48. TomC
    Mar 23, 2005
    9
    It's a stunning album that's really best appreciated on Santa Monica pier at sunset. Lonesome Tears is a stand-out track that I'll be listening to for years.
  49. JimmyM
    Mar 9, 2005
    10
    This is a darn god album and i would love it even if it was made by a fat irishman. so eat that.
  50. robl
    Jun 1, 2005
    9
    beck's best, 2003's best, beautiful desendant of blood on the tracks
  51. NickH
    Aug 28, 2005
    10
    It's a damn masterpiece. There aren't enough these days. Hats off to Beck, who seemingly can't make bad (let alone average) albums. This is his best album, out of a sea of great albums.
  52. LucP
    Dec 22, 2006
    10
    Touched my soul
  53. PaulF
    Oct 8, 2006
    10
    Easily the best album ever. Yes really, it's like that. If art's supreme purpose is to provoke and disarm, then this album is the epitome of art. Well composed, well produced and extremely sincere, emotional and personal. Thanks for sharing, Beck!
  54. Andy
    Aug 20, 2006
    8
    The best break-up album of the new millenium.
  55. Jake
    Jun 24, 2008
    10
    Just a great album. Pick it up.
  56. ColinG.
    Jul 17, 2008
    9
    Pretty much the best. Standout tracks:"Golden Age", "Lonesome Tears"(a personal favorite), "Lost Cause"(the video is a trip), "Sunday Sun", and "Little One".
  57. jeffs
    Nov 1, 2002
    10
    full of emotion, that's not a bad thing
  58. gregc
    Nov 4, 2002
    10
    Heart ache hasn't sounded so sweet since the Rolling Stones' "No Expectations". Especially poignant if you're getting a divorce.
  59. Elliott
    Nov 5, 2002
    8
    This album is definitely appreciable and lovable, and the melodies are consistently mesmerizing, but occasionally the lyrics do venture into cliche territory as the lower reviews indicated. However, what those reviews fail to notice is the utter musical genius woven into these gems: being sad has rarely sounded so wonderful. Oh - and this is not album of the year. If you like this, check This album is definitely appreciable and lovable, and the melodies are consistently mesmerizing, but occasionally the lyrics do venture into cliche territory as the lower reviews indicated. However, what those reviews fail to notice is the utter musical genius woven into these gems: being sad has rarely sounded so wonderful. Oh - and this is not album of the year. If you like this, check out the offerings from Wilco, The Doves, and Tori Amos that came out this year. They are equally good. Expand
  60. billj
    Oct 26, 2002
    10
    sea change is amazingly well done, better with each listen
  61. thomasl
    Sep 21, 2002
    9
    this metascore is misrepresenative (i think thats a word) anywho....almost every review i've read has been 4 out of 5 or 5 out of 5 as in Rolling Stone's case..........this is a beautiful album.......up there for record of the year with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
  62. TomJ.
    Sep 22, 2002
    10
    greatest album ever!
  63. PaoterR.
    Sep 24, 2002
    9
    Beck makes another great one. Not as good as midnite vultures, but better than mutations. Good album.
  64. LouisA.
    Sep 24, 2002
    10
    one of beck's greatest. masterfully done, he pours his heart and depression into and comes through
  65. fdsvgfgerg
    Sep 25, 2002
    10
    quality
  66. annak.
    Sep 27, 2002
    9
    i really love beck, and this album makes me want to give him a big hug. its gutwrenchingly depressing, but he can pull it off so gracefully, almost lazy. its great, and the village voice can eat it, (although the lyrics are admittedly a bit pretentious)
  67. ElizabethR.
    Sep 28, 2002
    10
    A wave of trance music you want to listen to over and over again, but oddly unmawkish, considering the subject matter. A fully realised effort, integrating new (for him) directness in lyrics, and the lush but still restrained multi-track arrangements. Controlled emotionalism in a new form--beautifully constructed and intelligently executed.
  68. RatatouilleStrychnine
    Sep 29, 2002
    10
    This isn't the best Beck album but this is equally flawless as other albums he did. This album cements Beck's legacy as one of the greatest and most versatile artists in pop culture. "I Guess I'm Doing Fine", "Lost Cause", and "Already Dead" are my personal favorites. These songs are very. very sad and beautiful at the same time.
  69. scott
    Jul 29, 2006
    10
    The best album Beck has made up until now.
  70. Oct 3, 2010
    10
    This album rules, I would recommend Paper tiger and little one. Beck is so underated. I mean every song made my pants tight. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  71. Nov 28, 2010
    9
    Fantastic change of pace from an artist unafraid to experiment. This was a bigger experiment than his more overtly experimental albums and he pulls it off admirably. What it makes it brilliant is less the realisation of this concept album than the actual concept of this concept album. I would normally steer well clear of depressing, slow, melodic albums about traumatic break-ups but sinceFantastic change of pace from an artist unafraid to experiment. This was a bigger experiment than his more overtly experimental albums and he pulls it off admirably. What it makes it brilliant is less the realisation of this concept album than the actual concept of this concept album. I would normally steer well clear of depressing, slow, melodic albums about traumatic break-ups but since Beck is willing to go there, what the hell, so am I! Totally unexpected, even from an artist you can always expect the unexpected from... if that makes sense... Expand
  72. Aug 25, 2016
    10
    Becks' ode to heartbreak and melancholy a beautifully haunting and depressing mix. Beck's breakup depression was the world's gain. Top 5 breakup album ever.
  73. Dec 9, 2015
    8
    One of Beck's most acclaimed records and well deserved too. "Sea Changes" is Beck strolling reflectively into the new millennium. It's as mellow and sonically straightforward as you get with Beck, but the simplicity of the record underlines the quality, not only of the songs but of the artist in general. "Guess I'm Doing Fine" is my personal favourite track on the record but really, it'sOne of Beck's most acclaimed records and well deserved too. "Sea Changes" is Beck strolling reflectively into the new millennium. It's as mellow and sonically straightforward as you get with Beck, but the simplicity of the record underlines the quality, not only of the songs but of the artist in general. "Guess I'm Doing Fine" is my personal favourite track on the record but really, it's the way that the individual pieces come together and fit is what makes this such a strong release. Expand
  74. Jan 22, 2012
    7
    this album is too overrated
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Mojo
    90
    Sea Change aches too thoroughly to be mere career shift. It's the kind of album that at times seems too sad for the singer's own good. [Album of the Month, Oct 2002, p.90]
  2. One of his finest efforts to date.
  3. 100
    Many of these harrowing tunes, like "Lonesome Tears" and "Guess I'm Doing Fine" have the lonely blues feel of Beck's similar-sounding Mutations, and they definitely get better with repeated play.