Albums: Beck, Lea Michele

  • Updated: March 1, 2014 - 2:00 PM

ALBUM

Beck, “Morning Phase” (Capitol)

Beck’s first new album in six years is a beautifully becalmed art object, a gleaming 12-song collection that luxuriates in Sunday-morning melancholy. It makes a conscious connection to “Sea Change,” his irony-free 2002 breakup album, and to “Mutations,” the stripped-down 1998 effort that also made the case that the now-43-year-old is just as comfortable mellowing down easy as he is getting archly funky with two turntables and a microphone. Is “Morning Phase” a “personal” album? By the standards of Beck, never the most knowable of performers, maybe it is. But starting with the 40-second opening instrumental, “Cycle,” and on through the closing “Waking Light,” “Morning Phase” is short on the specifics of heartache. Instead, it’s content to wash over you in a steady succession of mid-tempo waves, glistening with sonic detail and the shine of the winter sun.

DAN DELUCA, Philadelphia Inquirer

streaming audio

“Cannonball,” the single from Lea Michele’s forthcoming “Louder” album, is an emotion-packed piano rocker with crashing electro-drums. It’s clearly about her late beau, Cory Monteith. Stream the rest of her debut, out Tuesday, on iTunes.

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