Morning Phase by Beck in ALLMUSIC
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Often pigeonholed as being prolific to a fault, Beck took an extended break from recording after the 2008 release of Modern Guilt. He kept himself busy, producing acclaimed albums for Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thurston Moore, and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, blowing off steam via his mischievous Record Club (an online series where he and his friends covered classic albums), and then easing back to original songwriting through the ambitious Song Reader project, a folio containing sheet music for 20 unrecorded songs. He also suffered a spinal injury in 2008, a fact not publicized until he was ready to release Morning Phase, his first album in six years, early in 2014. As Morning Phase is a slow, shimmering album deliberately in the vein of classic singer/songwriter LPs, it's easy to think of it as a pained, confessional sequel to Sea Change, the 2002 record written and recorded in the wake of a painful romantic breakup. Beck didn't shy away from these comparisons, calling it a "companion piece" to his acclaimed 2002 LP, and as "Morning" glimmers into view, sounding for all the world like "Golden Age," it almost seems as if Beck covered himself as part of the Record Club. Morning Phase soon develops its own distinct gait, one that's a little more relaxed than its cousin. Crucially, Beck has swapped sorrow for mere melancholy, a shift in attitude that makes this 2014 album sweeter than its predecessor, a distinction sometimes distinguished by moments where words, traditionally the sadness signifiers for sensitive troubadours, are washed away by cascading waves of candy-colored sound. Underneath this warm, enveloping aural blanket lie some sturdily constructed compositions -- the haunting "Heart Is a Drum," bringing to mind memories of Nick Drake; the loping country-rock "Say Goodbye" and its sister "Country Down"; "Blue Moon," where the skies part like the breaking dawn -- but the abiding impression left from this album is one of comfort, not despair, which makes Morning Phase distinctly different than its companion Sea Change.
评论 Stephen Thomas Erlewine in ALLMUSIC
经常被设定为一个多产音乐人的贝克，在2008年的《Modern Guilt》专辑发行后，却沉寂了相当长的一段时间。但他没让自己闲着，为Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thurston Moore, 还有 Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks制作了很多出彩的专辑，在他玩票性质的Record Club(他和朋友们翻唱经典专辑的一个网上系列活动)上瞎鼓捣，然后，通过颇有想法的Song Reader企划（一个包含为20首未录制歌曲准备的剪贴音乐的页面？）又轻松地回到原创歌曲创作的状态中。在2008年，贝克脊椎受过一次伤，直到2014年初准备发行《Morning Phase》时才透漏伤情，这也是他六年来的首张专辑。因为《Morning Phase》明显是一张有一脉相承意味的传统“唱作专辑”，节奏舒缓且微波粼粼，很容易让人把它看作是2002年的《Sea Change》专辑的沉痛而有自白味道的续篇，那张专辑是在贝克一次伤感的分手后的觉醒中创作和录制成的。贝克并没有回避这些比较，而把《Morning Phase》叫做《Sea Change》的姐妹篇,随着那首“Morning”闪闪发光地浮现眼前，每个人都会想起之前的“Golden Age”，看起来似乎贝克在Record Club中翻唱了他自己的作品。《Morning Phase》很快展现了自身有区别性的韵律，比它的姐妹篇《Sea Change》显得更为松弛。尤为关键的是，贝克用略微的忧郁替代掉了《Sea Change》中的悲痛，使得这张2014年的专辑比之前的《Sea Change》更为甜美悦耳，通过不时出现的瞬间，那些词汇（那些敏感的民谣歌手的伤感信号）被大量流注的糖果色的声浪冲刷的瞬间，《Morning Phase》的独特之处得以区分呈现出来。在这张温暖的包裹妥帖的听觉毯子下，存在着一些构成坚固的曲式结构 -- 那首萦绕心头的“Heart Is a Drum”，带来了关于Nick Drake的回忆；那首跃动的乡村摇滚“Say Goodbye” 和它的姐妹曲“Country Down”；而那首“Blue Moon”，天际呈现出犹如破晓的场景-- 整张专辑留给人的印象是这是一张充满慰藉而非绝望的专辑，这也使得Morning Phase和它的姐妹篇Sea Change有明显区别。