#5 - BECK: "Morning Phase"
When this album came out in early 2014, I quickly pronounced it my favorite album of 2014. I knew that since I purchased it in February of that year that it probably wouldn't last, but I was cautiously optimistic. Well... I was right. It clocks in at number 5 of the year, but that only serves as a testament of how good the music was last year. This album is great from start to finish...
One of the things I really love and respect about Beck is his ability to shift gears so routinely and so flawlessly. I will be the first to admit that his first single, the now legendary Alt Rock song, "Loser", is a song that I only ever tolerated, for lack of a better word. I didn't actively hate the song, but I didn't care for it in any way. Truth be told, I was resistant to embrace the music of Beck for several years to come. By time "Odelay" came out in the latter part of the 90's, I was intrigued. Once I saw the Saturday Night Live performances from that album, I was hooked. Beck was not only becoming more and more infectious, but his delivery was surreal and as far from normal as you could get.
Through the coming years, I still did not find myself actively collecting his music, but had since acquired mp3 files of several albums of his. The only consistency to the music of Beck Hansen is its inconsistency.
The music on "Morning Phase" is mellow, morose and moody. The trifecta of "good m's" in MY musical world. From the moment the needle drops (whether it's being played on the turntable or even if you listen to the audio download FROM the album... an mp3 file that is sourced from vinyl) until it lifts at the end of side two, the listener is blessed with some of the most beautiful sounds to be heard in a long time. It's lush, it's layered, it's beautiful. It's not "Guero", it's not "Odelay"... if anything, it's a continuation of the path that Beck was blazing on his critically acclaimed album, "Sea Change".
Now comes the tricky part... did Beck ever release any "official" videos from this album? You and I are both about to find out...
"Heart is a Drum"
"Say Goodbye" (Live from the Tonight Show)
"Blue Moon" (Live from SNL)