Music Box: Beck, “Morning Phase”

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Are you feeling energetic?  On your third cup of coffee today, perhaps?  Are you on the hunt for an album that matches your upbeat, “take-no-prisoners” frame of mind?  Well, my friend, don’t waste a moment of your precious time on “Morning Phase,” the latest release of three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Beck.
Remember Beck?  The world fell in love with him after the release of his chart-topping single “Loser.”  He even found his way into the hearts of every hipster boy and girl the nation over when he penned the majority of the soundtrack for the movie version of “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.”  But it’s been over five years since the 43-year-old Beck let loose his last album “Modern Guilt,” and he seems to have tempered out with age.
“Morning Phase” is a tranquilizing, snail-paced collection of lullabies that all seem to borrow from the same recipe: Start with a sluggish beat, add acoustic guitar and throw in a few psychedelic effects here and there to mix it up.  The result of Beck’s recipe is anything but appetizing.
Beck lays out the blueprint for his album in the song “Morning,” the second track of the album, and seems unwilling to break away from it for the remainder of “Morning Phase.”  “Morning” is airy and carefree; the sort of song you can imagine listening to while lying out on the grass on a cloudless summer day.  There’s no denying its soothing ambiance, and as such, it’s one of the better songs on the album.
The fault in “Morning Phase” comes in its monotony.  The songs “Don’t Let It Go,” “Blackbird Chain” and “Country Down” are all essentially clones of “Morning,” making “Morning Phase” an unexciting, bland experience.  I can’t shake the feeling I’ve heard this album somewhere before.  Not that I’m accusing you of plagiarism, Mr. Beck; merely shaking my head at your lack of creativity.
I waited patiently for the album’s pace to pick up, for Beck to throw in a song or two that displayed the gritty, rebel-rocker persona he built in the ‘90s.  I waited in vain.  “Morning Phase” is nothing more than a drowsy disappointment.
In an interview for Rolling Stone magazine, Beck said of his latest release, “I’m hearing The Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash, Gram Parsons and Neil Young.”  Not so fast, Mr. Beck.  Your album may, upon first listen, resemble the timeless folk rock of yesteryear, but it lacks the congruence, ingenuity and ultimately the likeability of the works those artists created.  Shame on you, Beck.  Shame on you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_facebook type=”standard”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_tweetmeme type=”horizontal”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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