‘Morning Phase’, A New Beck Album For February.
Beck has been leaking a few songs on the internet one by one lately (‘Gimme’, ‘Defriended’, ‘I Won’t Be Long’) without any real information concerning a future official release. However, this has changed as he has just announced a new album entitled ‘Morning Phase’ for February. Beck has in fact just signed with Capitol Records to release his 12th album, and fans are probably already salivating at the idea, since the famous musician hasn’t had a proper release since his 2008 ‘Modern Guilt’… I know there was that sheet music album (‘Song Reader’) but who counts that one?
Another good news is that the album is described as a ‘companion piece of sorts’ to his ‘Sea Change’ album, which was certainly Beck’s most intimate, melancholic, and heartbreaking album; It is considered as one of his best work, but also his most depressive one – hasn’t he just broken up with his longtime girlfriend? However ‘Morning Phase’ is advertised on a more uplifting note:
‘Morning Phase’ harkens back to the stunning harmonies, song craft and staggering emotional impact of [‘Sea Change’], while surging forward with infectious optimism’.
Many of the musicians who participated to Sea Change are announced in the press release, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, but also Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner.
In fact, I remember reading Beck was planning to release two albums separately so this is at least one in a near future, whereas the second one is said to be more acoustic and in the style of his early work ‘One Foot in the Grave’. I actually would love to see Beck coming back to early stuff, to me, his ‘Mellow Gold’ and ‘Odelay’ days were the best. As much as I like ‘Sea Change’, each time I see Beck in concert, I jump from joy when he still includes songs like ‘Devil’s Haircut’, ‘Jack-Ass’, ‘Where it’s At’, ‘Loser’ or even ‘Minus’ in the set… and I am not the only one! ‘Mutations’, his country album, was great too, Guero and ‘Modern Guilt’ weren’t bad at all, I loved ‘Nausea’ off ‘The Information’, but, come on, it has been a long time since Beck has written something like: ‘Radiation/Feeling the force/Karaoke/Vomiting morons/The scalps of zero hear the call/Rubbing in a blind man’s running hall/With the canker sores and the robot pill/Throwing imbeciles on the window sills’ or lines in the same vein but making bribes of sense: ‘Give the finger to the rock ‘n’ roll singer/As he’s dancing upon your paycheck/The sales climb high through the garbage-pail sky/Like a giant dildo crushing the sun’.
Nothing replaces the surrealistic nonsense poetry of these early albums….filled with gibberish and made-up words, his lyrics will make herds of fans and music critics scratch their head forever, but beyond any sense, the lyrics were just fun, plain fun like a million of colorful images jumping in your head at the same time to the point to give you a multicolor-multidimensional seizure. Then Beck turned serious, and his lyrics started to make sense with ‘Sea Change’. The rest of his discography moved from one pole to another, from fun-crazy nonsense to serious torment and desolation, but its extremely difficult to compare his albums, his music is so multi faceted! At the end, Beck will always stay a mystery to me, even with this sonic diversity, his music is also very personal, as it’s impossible to miss a Beck’s track, you recognize it immediately. We don’t know what this new album will be made of, it’s not even sure the songs released this summer will be featured on it, but a tracklist will be released soon! The press release doesn’t even name a producer, and I can’t wait!