hmv's Albums of 2014: Beck
Every day throughout January we're going to be previewing 2014's biggest records. Today we look at one of music's true mavericks, it's Beck...
A Little Background...
Beck is no stranger to experimenting with his compositions and recordings, tweaking the arrangements until he is satisfied. His breakthrough 1993 single 'Loser' was one such piece that was almost never released as he felt it was mediocre and yet upon release its huge popularity spurred on the completion of Beck's third album, Mellow Gold, and suddenly the world was listening.
Since then, two of his albums, Odelay and Sea Change, have garnered immense critical acclaim and are both often included in 'best of' lists in various publications. It's been five years since the release of Beck's 11th studio album, Modern Guilt, and excitement is building as the the 12th is almost here.
What's It Called?
The new album is called Morning Phase. Solid title. Two words. Classic Beck.
What Will It Sound Like?
Morning Phase has been brewing since 2005 when Beck began recording several of the tracks in Nashville. In 2012 he returned to Nashville where he continued working on the album at Jack White's Third Man Records studio. He also recorded some material in his hometown, Los Angeles, early last year and spent the next six months putting all the bits together.
The new album is billed as a companion piece to his phenomenal Sea Change which was released in 2002, so we can expect emotionally deep acoustic style songs as Beck wears his singer-songwriter cap and steers clear of samples and hip-hop beats.
Furthermore, as the title suggests, this album is slightly more optimistic, with the singer taking inspiration from the music of California in the days when The Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash and Neil Young ruled the roost.
Who's Producing It? Are There Any Big-Name Guests?
Beck has produced the album. Amongst others, Beck recorded with tried and trusted members of his touring band, namely Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Joey Waronker, all of whom have worked with him on other projects including Sea Change.
String arrangements are in the very capable hands of Beck's father, David Campbell, who has worked on hundreds of albums, including several of Beck's. Jason Falkner has also contributed of his session skills again.
Will It Really Come Out This Year? And When?
With Beck's tendency to shelve his music for long periods of time we can be quite sure we're in for a treat now that this album has met with his approval. Morning Phase is set to be released in February.