Beck Sea Change
Get It At Discogs
To most of you Beck is known as the musical chameleon who mixes a huge array musical styles, to create alternative pop that is highly unique. In this album however, there is a different side of Beck...the singer-songwriter Beck as opposed to Beck the sonic contortionist. It's a more emotional side...focussing on his voice and his acoustic guitar. Despite the frequent use of an orchestra...the songs on this album are so incredibly naked and heartfelt...it's hard to believe it's the same guy who wrote "Where It's At" or "Sexxx Laws". The transition from becoming singer-songwriter seems to have gone very smoothly, while it is anything but. This album is produced by Nigel Godrich...known for his work with Radiohead...and he captures the intimacy of the music perfectly. This album is nowhere nearly as original or complex as Mutations or Odelay...or playful as Midnite Vulture...but it's got some really solid heartfelt songs that are just so brilliantly composed...to a degree that this is IMHO Becks best record. In fact this is one of the best records I've ever heard.
The Golden: Age A very nice slow, atmospheric, acoustic ballad...very lullaby-ish. The mood is similair to "No Suprises" by Radiohead...Beck sings the song in a very light, semi-soft tone. You have some really nice backing vocals...who are not too obvious...but add alot to the song. All in all great opener. 4/5
Paper Tiger: This song has some odd production...with the guitar and orchestra parts being produced much sharper and louder...while the drums, bass and vocals have a more muffed production. This song is the closest thing to the experimental Beck on this record. The orchestra provides some cool random melodies now and then. Pretty decent. 3.5/5
Guess I'm Doing Fine:A straight forward, depressing song... I absolutely adore the intro melody of the acoustic guitar...it's really short but grabs me immediately. Courtesy to the flawless production. Becks sings a bit lower tone...it fits the song...which has the feeling of being lost, and lonely...a struggle towards acceptance. The title already suggest about the mood of the song. 4.5/5
Lonesome Tears: Bear with me, I'm a sucker for artsy music...and for those who know me long enough on the forums know it's impossible for me to hate this song. The song is downright gorgeous...it's rhythm-based, but melodies are dominated by the orchestra and the vocals. The intro immediately captures how beautiful this song is. The lyrics are something I really relate to. The song isn't as depressing as the title suggests, I interpretate it more as fighting against your sadness. In other words it's a hopeful song. The chorus is very arranged...an epic wall of violins really...but fortunately they don't overshadow Becks emotional vocals. The most beautiful part of this track is around 1:57....I love the amazing melodies that come right there inbetween before the second verse. In the end the song builds up more and more...like a music orgasm of sorts....it's like you've been traveling in space and are ready to land. You'll hear what I mean when you hear it yourself. The song carries out a bit too long....but hey...still, a very beautiful song. 5/5
Lost Cause: Big sigh...after the last track...you've earned a breath or two. This is nonetheless another song that does justice as the followup of the first four tracks. It starts with strange electronic soundscapes...but immediately greeted by a lofi beat and the gorgeous acoustic guitars. I love the way Beck sings on this track...he sings in this very somber tone...really effortless, almost as if the words blurt out completely naturally. Very soothing track. 4/5
End Of The Day: Another lullabyish track, a bit more muffed in production. It's got some melancholic guitar melodies and keyboard samples. The opening lyric is already very easy to relate to: "Seen the end of the day come too soon, not alot to say, not alot to do". The song carried on a bit long...but it's still decent. 3.5/5
It's All In Your Mind: The song is mostly just driven by Beck and his guitar...and some cello's. I love the volume in Becks voice, which is hard NOT to notice when he starts singing...you can easily tell this is the same producer who did the Radiohead albums...it's just magical. It's another beautiful song. 4/5
Round The Bend: Orgasm song number 2...but this one is more timid then Lonesome Tears...but not in anyway less beautiful. It starts slow paced (no drums) with the orchestra in an almost echo-ing production, with a low strumming acoustic guitar. Beck sings in a very emotional crooning voice...it perfectly fits this song. The great thing about this is that despite the volume of the orchestra...the song never loses it's intimacy. This is -the- perfect song to fall asleep to. 5/5
Already Dead: As the title suggests...this is another depressing song...you'd think?...but the vocal lines and guitar melody are suprisingly uplifting. The brilliance of this song comes around in 52 seconds...it's hardly noticable. Beck changes the melody very subtlely...without losing flow of the verse melody...and still make the chorus a bit more depressing sounding. It's got some cool country licks after every chorus. I love the way Beck plays in this song...I dunno jack about guitar playing...but judging by ear, the way he progresses the melody in this song is brilliant in my opinion. 4.5/5
Sunday Sun: Orgasm no. 3. The first thing that pops through your head is the simple, yet TIMELESS sounding piano melody. It's been awhile since I've heard such a brilliant simplistic melody. Chris Martin would eat his ****ing HEART out hearing this song. The melody is awesome in the chorus...and the drums are drivven by light percussion. I love the Flaming Lips-esque backing vocals, no wonder they became Becks backing band while he toured for this album. This song is just brilliant by the way. I've lost all words for it. 5/5
Little One: This song starts with a haunting guitar melody that would make Kurt Cobain proud. The amazingness just queus along on this album. Like I said...this song is haunting, full of cool little twists. It switches from arranged chorusses...to the timid guitar driven melodies. Another great song. It's got a really cool music jam near the end with experimental beats and a piano solo...just when you think things couldn't get better...geez..do you really want to keep reading this review? Haven't I glorified things enough?! 4.5/5
Side Of The Road: Apperantly enough. The final track is a quiet acoustic bluesy track. Really nice way to end an album opposed to saving the most orgasmic track for last...this albums just drifts away. "Let it pass on the side of the road". 4/5
I definately recommend buying this album. Hard to go wrong here. It may take a few listens to get a familiarized with all the songs...but once you do, chances are you'll realize how great this album really is.