Morning Phase
Beck - Morning Phase
Critic Score
Based on 36 reviews
2014 Ratings: #94 / 830
Year End Rank: #16
User Score
Based on 301 ratings
2014 Ratings: #144
Your Review


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


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.

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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. 

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.
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.

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. 

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.

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


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.


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.


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.

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. 

Mar 3, 2015
Simple and plain-written songs that interlace with one another pretty well, although nothing here sounds nearly as good as some of Beck's past best works. Overall, Morning Phase represents a relieving and very personal moment in an artist's lifetime, containing emotional metaphorical lyrics, simple song structure but incredible production and a few really good moments, which seems to be the key elements to this record's success. Definitely not the best music 2014 had to offer, but worthy grammy ... read more
Jul 17, 2014
An overall good album that never really builds up to anything.
Jun 13, 2014
Beck ups his production quality again and delivers a dreamy, mellow folk album so peaceful, its almost haunting. The songwriting is keen as only Beck can make it, tightly woven and intricate, and though no big risks are taken, which Beck has become known for, this is a fitting comeback album.
Beck's "mourning phase" is dark and dreary, while also reflective of the unfounded, unsteady optimism of waking up with the Morning Phase of the sunlight drenching your face through the ... read more
May 6, 2014
The album moves very well but it carries very little weight. Beck seems to go for easy melodies instead trying to make the album a challenging listen.
Feb 27, 2014
the first beck album i listened to, and... i'm not happy. i can't even write more than that it sounded plain and repetetive..
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Added on: December 24, 2013