Morning Phase

Beck - Morning Phase
Critic Score
Based on 44 reviews
2014 Ratings: #98 / 1019
Year End Rank: #15
User Score
Based on 513 ratings
2014 Ratings: #247
Liked by 20 people
Sign In to rate and review

CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Pretty Much Amazing

Beck’s voice, most often doubled and sometimes tripled, omnipresent and in conversation with itself, binds and elevates this, his most consistently exceptional album since Odelay

90
Rolling Stone
The result is a set that feels like an instant folk-rock classic.
90
musicOMH

Whether his melancholy morning is a phase or part of a larger cycle to which he may return in the future (the latter is more likely), Beck proves once again here that he’s a tremendously versatile artist, capable of excelling throughout the musical spectrum.

90
FasterLouder

Though it’s ridiculous to rank an album within an artist’s body of work on the day of its release ... I’m going to go ahead and do exactly that and place Morning Phase on Beck’s top shelf, alongside Odelay! and Sea Change.

90
Under The Radar

This is the most refreshed Beck has sounded in a decade; it's his best album in that much time, easily, and sure to be instantly beloved by fans who hold Sea Change to be his crowning work. 

83
Consequence of Sound

Like Sea Change and Mutations before it, this LP’s songs are simple enough, but the arrangements are not, full of orchestral swells and studio tricks that recall Nigel Godrich long after his collaboration with Beck has ended.

83
A.V. Club

It’s not as good as Sea Change, but that it’s anywhere close—and it is—means it’s doing something right.

80
Slant Magazine
It represents not only a return to form, but also serves as one of his most graceful efforts, the chronicle of an aging songwriter left devastated by the depth of his own loneliness.
80
The 405

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.

80
No Ripcord

The Beck we find in Morning Phase depicts a weary soul resting in a hammock as he explores his transcendental spiritual existence, rather than the sprightly blue-eyed cockatoo that was starting to find his groove again after an almost-defeating spinal injury. 

80
Time Out London
A 12-song cycle set in the tender, uncertain hours of dawn, it bathes in the ’70s West Coast vibe of Beck’s youth, with dew-spangled guitars and psychedelic melodies slowly turning their crumpled faces to the sun.
80
Paste

Morning Phase is that comeback story, that emergence from the water and that first breath taken with the gusto of someone knowing they are truly alive. It is a beautiful record, and maybe a little over-simplified at its weakest moments, straddling that line between clean and bare.

80
American Songwriter

Given that Morning Phase reveals similarly raw honesty and engrossing emotion – plus bears the mark of superior penmanship gained by a decade’s more patience and wisdom, the album is poised to be revered as one of Beck’s most potent collections.

80
Drowned in Sound

Here on Morning Phase though, it seems there’s something more reflective going on, something older, wiser and a bit more philosophical.

80
Spin

This is Beck the Echo Park hoodrat shrugging aside the multicultural L.A. Basin he once supposedly exemplified in favor of the toked-out vibrations of 1970s Malibu, Topanga Canyon, and Point Mugu.

80
NME

It couples a moody sort of glamour with a concrete feeling of loneliness, and it makes for some of the most affecting comedown folk you’re likely to hear all year.

80
DIY

That there’s nothing particularly ‘new’ about ‘Morning Phase’ is by no means a fault: this is acoustic Beck, and it’s acoustic Beck at his most sublime.

80
Exclaim!

While the earlier LP was harrowing in its soul-searching melancholia, Morning Phase is warm and soothing, its tone coming across as beautifully bittersweet rather than overtly depressing.

70
AllMusic

Beck has swapped sorrow for mere melancholy, a shift in attitude that makes this 2014 album sweeter than its predecessor, a distinction sometimes distinguished by moments where words, traditionally the sadness signifiers for sensitive troubadours, are washed away by cascading waves of candy-colored sound. 

70
The Line of Best Fit

Morning Phase may not be the most forward-thinking entry in Beck’s chamelionic canon, and its attempts to live up to the bare-bones stylings of his last “folk” album fall somewhat short.

70
The Fly

Personally, we’ve never been persuaded of Beck’s merits as a straight-up singer-songwriter — his voice is too thin and reedy, his lyrics too ordinary when shorn of the self-conscious Dadaist jive — but give a fella his due, he knows his way round a melody

68
Pitchfork

While he's apparently working on another genre-jumping LP, his new album, Morning Phase, is not that record. Instead of a much-needed daring comeback statement, it's more like a pointed exhale. It feels safe.

60
PopMatters

Morning Phase may not be the out-and-out masterpiece that everyone says it is, but anytime we are blessed with a very-good Beck album, the world is all the richer because of it.

60
Sputnikmusic

At the end of things, Morning Phase remains exceedingly lovely but disappointedly insubstantial; not a sea change at all, but just another passing phase in a career that’s made a specialty of them.

30
Tiny Mix Tapes

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. 

HoodieBraden
70

On Morning Phase, we see an unusually soft and sweet batch of material from Beck. Aside from Sea Change, this is really the only other melancholy album in Beck's discography. He's a rocker, that's for sure, and when he drops something light as a feather (like this), it comes as a pleasant surprise. Instead of resorting to his usual guitar/drum-heavy instrumentals, he lets his songwriter side take the spotlight, along with his passionate vocal performances. The result is one heck of a style ... read more

MasterCrackfox
81

Morning Phase is pretty clearly billed as a follow-up to Sea Change from over a decade before, and the album doesn't hide Beck going back in that direction. Given just how essential that record is, both for Beck and just in general, this certainly shouldn't be something that his fans would be cold towards. This is also only the second time ever Beck had stepped back from his eclectic showmanship and experimental stylings to instead venture into a more subdued, yet still sublime, sounding ... read more

Schmedess
38

How is this the same dude that made devils haircut?

Favorite Tracks - Country Down
Least Fav - ... like everything else

Deft
53

BECK BEST TO WORST (IN 10 SENTENCES OR LESS)

Gets worse the more you listen. I went into this album enjoying a lot of these folk cuts and my enjoyment peaked at Blue Moon. That might be a personal bias of mine since I loved the song when I was 12. However past that point, this album became real easy to not care about. Unlike Mutations which is very quirked up with its instrumentals, this on the other hand feels very safe. Has this album aged better than Colors, yes, but that’s not a very ... read more

5

Favourite: N/A

JakeYouOut
62

cool album but morning washes every song on here

Purchasing Morning Phase from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
Advertisement

Track List

1Cycle
0:39
73
2Morning
5:19
76
3Heart Is a Drum
4:31
84
4Say Goodbye
3:29
81
5Blue Moon
4:02
90
6Unforgiven
4:34
80
7Wave
3:40
76
8Don't Let It Go
3:09
73
9Blackbird Chain
4:26
70
10Phase
1:07
71
11Turn Away
3:05
80
12Country Down
4:00
78
13Waking Light
5:00
83
Total Length: 47 minutes
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.
Advertisement


Added on: December 24, 2013