Morning Phase

Morning Phase

by BeckBeck


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Often pigeonholed as being prolific to a fault, Beck took an extended break from recording after the 2008 release of Modern Guilt. He kept himself busy, producing acclaimed albums for Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thurston Moore, and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, blowing off steam via his mischievous Record Club (an online series where he and his friends covered classic albums), and then easing back to original songwriting through the ambitious Song Reader project, a folio containing sheet music for 20 unrecorded songs. He also suffered a spinal injury in 2008, a fact not publicized until he was ready to release Morning Phase, his first album in six years, early in 2014. As Morning Phase is a slow, shimmering album deliberately in the vein of classic singer/songwriter LPs, it's easy to think of it as a pained, confessional sequel to Sea Change, the 2002 record written and recorded in the wake of a painful romantic breakup. Beck didn't shy away from these comparisons, calling it a "companion piece" to his acclaimed 2002 LP, and as "Morning" glimmers into view, sounding for all the world like "Golden Age," it almost seems as if Beck covered himself as part of the Record Club. Morning Phase soon develops its own distinct gait, one that's a little more relaxed than its cousin. Crucially, 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. Underneath this warm, enveloping aural blanket lie some sturdily constructed compositions -- the haunting "Heart Is a Drum," bringing to mind memories of Nick Drake; the loping country-rock "Say Goodbye" and its sister "Country Down"; "Blue Moon," where the skies part like the breaking dawn -- but the abiding impression left from this album is one of comfort, not despair, which makes Morning Phase distinctly different than its companion Sea Change.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/25/2014
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0602537649754
catalogNumber: 1983802
Rank: 27232

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Beck   Primary Artist
Stephanie Bennett   Harp
John Acosta   Cello
Charlie Bisharat   Violin,Concert Master
Denyse Buffum   Viola
David Campbell   Conductor
Stanley Clarke   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Joel Derouin   Violin,Concert Master
Jason Falkner   Electric Guitar
Stefanie Fife   Cello
James Gadson   Drums
Roland Kato   Viola
Matt Sherrod   Drums
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Smokey Hormel   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,E-bow
Joey Waronker   Percussion,Drums
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Cody Kilby   Guitar
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Bass,Electric Bass
Rudy Stein   Cello
Roger Manning   Synthesizer,Piano,Electric Piano,Background Vocals,Clavinet,fender rhodes,Hammond B3
Matt Mahaffey   Organ
Julian Hallmark   Violin
Gerry Hilera   Violin
Fats Kaplan   Banjo
Sarah Thornblade   Violin
Alyssa Park   Violin
Andrew Duckles   Viola
Songa Lee   Violin
Steve Richards   Cello
Michele Richards   Violin
Tereza Stanislav   Violin
Joel Pargman   Violin
Jeanie Lim   Viola
Nina Evthuhov   Violin
David Stone   Bass
Tamara Hatwan   Violin
Mario de León   Violin
Razdan Kuyumjian   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola
Sarah Parkins   Violin,Concert Master
Grace E. Oh   Violin
Bram Inscore   Electric Bass
Beck Hansen   Organ,Dulcimer,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Harmonica,Piano,Electric Bass,Celeste,Glockenspiel,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Tambourine,Ukulele,Vocals,Charango
Kevin Connolly   Violin
Roger Waronker   Piano

Technical Credits

Darrell Thorp   Engineer
Dennis Hallinan   Images
Cassidy Turbin   Engineer
David Greenbaum   Engineer
Robbie Nelson   Engineer
Beck Hansen   Composer,Producer
Cole Marsden   Engineer
Greif Neill   Engineer
Florian Lagatta   Engineer
Joe Visciano   Engineer
Dan Mountford   Cover Layout

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