In the more than five years separating the release of Modern Guilt and Morning Phase, the multifaceted producer/songwriter Beck continued to embellish his prolific, diverse career: he produced a clutch of beautiful albums (including Charlotte Gainsbourg’s IRM and Thurston Moore’s Demolished Thoughts) and undertook a number of visionary collaborative projects.
With its lushness and atmospheric beauty, Morning Phase is his most accomplished (and straightforward) musical endeavor since his beloved 2002 album, Sea Change. In fact, many of the core musicians who played on Sea Change – including guitarist Smokey Hormel, bassist/multi-instrumentalist Justin Meldal-Johnsen, and ex-Jellyfish keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr. – give Morning Phase its finely detailed instrumental warmth.
“Heart Is a Drum” sets the tone early with its glowing combination of acoustic instruments, luxurious electronics, and elegant vocal harmonies. The other meditative highlights include the hazy, impressionistic orchestral sweep of “Wave” and the reflexive multi-tracked melody of “Morning.” This is an achingly beautiful collection of songwriting from one of pop music’s postmodern masters.
The official Beck website.