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Beck|Morning Phase

Morning Phase

Beck

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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.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Morning Phase

Beck

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1
Cycle (Album Version)
00:00:39

Beck Hansen, Producer, ComposerLyricist - David Campbell, Conductor/Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Suzie Katayama, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Funes, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Richards, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Bisharat, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Duckles, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Josefina Vergara, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Julian Hallmark, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Leggett, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sara Parkins, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sarah Thornblade, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Roland Kato, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Beck, MainArtist - Tammy Hatwan, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Connolly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Tereza Stanislav, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jeanie Lim, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Rudolph Stein, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Pargman, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - David Stone, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Songa Lee, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Michele Richards, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - John Acosta, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Grace Oh, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nina Evtuhov, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

2
Morning (Album Version)
00:05:19

Beck Hansen, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joey Waronker, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Manning, Keyboards, Piano, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - STANLEY CLARKE, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

3
Heart Is A Drum (Album Version)
00:04:31

Beck Hansen, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joey Waronker, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - STANLEY CLARKE, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Smokey Hormel, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Piano, Synthesizer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

4
Say Goodbye (Album Version)
00:03:29

Beck Hansen, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Tambourine, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bram Inscore, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - JAMES GADSON, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cody Kilby, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

5
Blue Moon (Album Version)
00:04:02

Beck Hansen, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Electric Bass, Charango Guitar, Ukulele, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joey Waronker, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Keyboards, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

6
Unforgiven (Album Version)
00:04:34

Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Beck Hansen, Producer, Piano, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - JAMES GADSON, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, Oboe, AssociatedPerformer - Stephanie Bennett, Harp, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

7
Wave (Album Version)
00:03:40

Beck Hansen, Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

8
Don't Let It Go (Album Version)
00:03:09

Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Beck Hansen, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joey Waronker, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Darrell Thorp, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - Smokey Hormel, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cassidy Turbin, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Waronker, Piano, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

9
Blackbird Chain (Album Version)
00:04:26

Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Beck Hansen, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Celesta, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jason Falkner, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Joey Waronker, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Leisz, Pedal Steel, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Thorp, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - Matt Sherrod, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Smokey Hormel, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Mahaffey, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Clarinet, Piano, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Cassidy Turbin, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

10
Phase (Album Version)
00:01:07

Beck Hansen, Producer, ComposerLyricist - David Campbell, Conductor/Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Suzie Katayama, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Funes, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Richards, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Bisharat, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Duckles, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Josefina Vergara, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Julian Hallmark, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Leggett, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sara Parkins, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sarah Thornblade, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Roland Kato, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Beck, MainArtist - Tammy Hatwan, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Connolly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Tereza Stanislav, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jeanie Lim, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Rudolph Stein, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Pargman, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - David Stone, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Songa Lee, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Michele Richards, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - John Acosta, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Grace Oh, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nina Evtuhov, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

11
Turn Away (Album Version)
00:03:05

Beck Hansen, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Dulcimer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - Stephanie Bennett, Harp, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

12
Country Down (Album Version)
00:04:00

Beck Hansen, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jason Falkner, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Joey Waronker, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Leisz, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Beck, MainArtist - Smokey Hormel, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Keyboards, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

13
Waking Light (Album Version)
00:05:00

Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Beck Hansen, Producer, Electric Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Synthesizer, Celesta, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - David Campbell, Conductor/Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Jason Falkner, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Suzie Katayama, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Funes, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Richards, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Bisharat, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Joey Waronker, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Andrew Duckles, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Thorp, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Josefina Vergara, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Julian Hallmark, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Leggett, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sara Parkins, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie Nelson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sarah Thornblade, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Roland Kato, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Beck, MainArtist - Tammy Hatwan, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Connolly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Tereza Stanislav, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Mahaffey, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Jeanie Lim, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Rudolph Stein, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Pargman, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - David Stone, Upright Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Songa Lee, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Michele Richards, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - John Acosta, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Grace Oh, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Florian Lagatta, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nina Evtuhov, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Baptie, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Cassidy Turbin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Visciano, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Greenbaum, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2014 Fonograf Records

Album Description

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.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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