“Morning Phase” marks Beck’s 12th studio album, and the first studio album released by Beck since 2008. When listening, it is easy to tell that “Morning Phase” includes many of the same artists from the critically acclaimed Sea of Change album released in 2002. The same artists that played on “Sea Of Change” include Roger Joseph Manning Jr, Justin Meldal-Johnson, Joey Waronker, and Smokey Hormel. David Campell, Beck’s father, also contributed string arrangements for both albums.
“Morning Phase” is a full acoustic album. The songs that are available for individual downloading on iTunes include “Blue Moon,” “Wave,” and “Waking Light.” Both singles, “Blue Moon” and “Walking Light,” feel like they could have been on “Sea Of Change,” with their flourishing magnificence. Wave is an epic sounding piece that sounds so big that when you close your eyes to can picture a full orchestra playing the song. It’s truly amazing where Beck has taken himself, since his breakout song “Loser.”
Beck began playing music after dropping out of school, during the mid-’80s. The ’80s was a different world, than the decades that followed, with its leg-warmers, Glam Rock, Hardcore Punk, and Hulkamania. None of which is still popular with the exception of Hulkamania, Betfair.com to this day has a Hulkamania-themed slot game. During this time, Beck was more of a blues-folk musician that did not technically have a career in music until the single “Loser” caught on in 1993, since he was working a job for $4 per hour to provide for himself.
“Loser” was such a popular song, that it started a bidding war. Record companies were fighting to sign the newly popular artist, who did not have “Loser” on an album yet. Beck ended up signing with Geffen Records, because of the creative freedom he would receive. Geffen is now a part of Interscope. The “Mellow Gold” album was released in March of 1994, and featured the Top 40 hit “Loser.” Beck did receive criticism for the “Mellow Gold” album. Many thought that he was going to be a One-Hit Wonder, or a one trick pony.
“Odelay” was the first true studio album for Beck, since the others were more so a collection of previous recordings. Released in June of 1996, the album ended being the catalyst that pushed Beck out of the One-Hit Wonder status. It won 2 Grammy Awards, Best Alternative Music Album and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance (“Where’s It At”). It was also nominated for Album of the Year.
The rest of Beck’s career up to this point has been extremely successful. Beck won another Grammy Award, winning Best Alternative Music Performance for “Mutations”. He has also been nominated for 8 other Grammy Awards, receiving Best Alternative Album nominations for the rest of his studio albums. Beck has won a total of 10 major awards, including the Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards. He has had a total of 29 nominations, which isn’t bad for the once One-Hit Wonder. None of his albums have received poor reviews from the major publications.
“Morning Phase” is just the first album expected to hit the stores this year. Beck is also expected to drop an electric album later this year, which should have more of a traditional Beck feel. “Morning Phase” will be available in stores on February 25th.