Two albums quickly come to mind as comparison points for Beck’s first studio album in 6 years: Beck’s previous departure into folk, 2002’s Sea Change, and the ultra-specific and ultra-personal Benji from Sun Kil Moon. Morning Phase in many ways acts as the sequel to Sea Change, with Beck shedding his chameleon coat for a straightforward and earnest singer/songwriter record. Sea Change happened following a breakup, and while it was beautiful at points, the overall tone of the record was reflective and sober. On Morning Phase, is similarly beautiful, but takes more of a turn towards the euphoric than the brooding, catching a glimpse of the beauty of life. Benji acts as the antithesis in many ways Morning Phase. Where Benji is hyper-specific and includes deeply personal accounts of Mark Kozelek’s experiences with death, Morning Phase is a very simplified and impressionistic look at life, allowing the viewer to read their own experiences into the words. They also work as a comparison since they are the two best records so far in 2014, masterful at the disparate approaches they take.
We heard a small snippet of Beck’s newest single “Blue Moon” in his album preview video in which they cut the first vinyl of Beck’s upcoming album, Morning Phase. It was just a short minute and a half snippet of the song, but it immediately resonated as an instant Beck classic. Now Beck has released the full version of the song, and the initial love for the track that was seeded in our hearts with the preview has only grown.
I have to admit, when Beck announced his Song Reader album, I was undoubtedly disappointed. It felt like a bit of a copout, making an album you don’t play yourself and ask other people to make. It just feels incredibly lazy. But once you really think about what all a decision like this entails, it becomes much more interesting. So here are three reasons this is a brilliant idea.
Wes as a wee cub
We at LxL are men for all seasons, and winter is no exception. Oh, wait, Todd lives in the concrete jungles of Cali where the weather rarely dips below 60. That’s alright, he is still an Indianaananaan (not really sure how to write that, or say it for that matter) at heart. Here are our top ten albums of winter. Enjoy.