'Morning Phase' was released on this day (February 21st) in 2014.
It might not be the nostalgia fest that our usual Album of the Week features are, but you may still be surprised to learn that it's been a whole six years since Beck dropped his phenomenal ninth album Morning Phase through Capitol Records. Of course, it still feels like it was a matter of months ago...
Beck - Morning Phase
Morning Phase came after a period of stagnation for Beck, who admitted he struggled in the years following Modern Guilt. And it's no surprise either; the recording of Modern Guilt was plagued by severe pain from a spinal injury. By the time he was healed and Morning Phase came around, it must have felt like an extraordinary relief to be able to put his all into his work again.
The album was a commercially and critically acclaimed masterpiece, became his highest charting album within the US in almost a decade, reaching number 3 in the Billboard 200, and remains his highest charting release in the UK ever.
It was marketed as a "companion piece" to his 2002 album Sea Change, featuring a number of key musicians from that album including his own father David Campbell; though producer Nigel Godrich was not involved in Morning Phase. The folk-rock genre and general feel of the albums are very similar despite the 12-year difference, and even the cover art was done by the same artist, Autumn de Wilde.
Morning Phase featured four singles including the psychedelic Waking Light, the dreamy-folk Heart Is a Drum, the country lilt of Say Goodbye and the bordering-on-iconic Blue Moon which went on to be nominated for two Grammys. It was actually also his third time being nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys and he finally landed the award, taking home Best Rock Album and Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) with it.
If that wasn't enough, he even ended up doing a duet of Heart Is a Drum at the show with Coldplay's Chris Martin, which is still one of the most beautiful awards show moments we've ever seen.