Morning Phase by Beck
In 2002, the artist at #26 released an album that ended up at #3 on my Top 10 albums of the Oughts. He then went on to release three more enjoyable albums in the remainder of the decade, before taking the longest musical hiatus of his long career: six years from the release of Modern Guilt in 2008 to the release of the wonderful album Morning Phase this past February.
Beck is somewhat of a musical enigma. He’s released over-the-top poppy disco, down-in-the-dumps country, and indie-rock fueled rap. But it’s the orchestral side of Beck that really gets me. Sea Change had that, in 2002, and so does 2014’s Morning Phase. And that is by design, as Beck brought in a number of the musicians that performed on Sea Change to record the new album. It is very much a sequel, produced 12 years and four albums later.
But it’s not as good as Sea Change. It’s impossible for it — or almost any album — to be as good as that. But for 2014, it’s better than all but 25 albums in my estimation. And if you like Beck, you certainly loved Sea Change, and you’ll love this album, too.