I had no idea how out of the loop I was when it came to my favorite musicians until this morning when I saw that singer-songwriter Beck‘s latest studio album is just eight days away from its release. Thanks to NPR, you can now listen to Morning Phase, Beck’s first album in six years and his first for his new label Capitol Records, streaming in full for free.
Beck has reportedly been working on this album since 2005 but had to put it on hold until 2012. Morning Phase is considered to be a successor to his low-key, lyrical 2002 release Sea Change. Critics are hailing it as one of his finest in years and after listening to selected tracks I’m inclined to agree. This is coming from a guy who can often find no fault with Beck’s work; to me anyway he’s one of the most consistently enthralling and innovative musicians in the world.
Beck found the recording of Morning Phrase to be a more creatively satisfying experience than his last album, 2008’s Modern Guilt. Far be it from me to say that the man was never on form because Beck’s modus operandi has always been his willingness to experiment and explore in his music. The songs on Morning Phase signal a return to emotional territory for the musician, with stirring orchestral arrangements contributed by his father David Campbell, a celebrated composer and conductor who has worked on hundreds of gold and platinum-certified albums from artists as diverse as Carole King, Metallica, Aerosmith, Macy Gray, X, and Duran Duran. I can see this album making its way onto my best of 2014 list already. It’s that good.
You can listen to the entire 47-minute album or preview individual tracks HERE.
Morning Phase will be released on February 25, 2014, but you can pre-order it now on CD and vinyl. A digital download is also currently up for pre-order on iTunes.