Beck Takes Home the Grammy
February 11th, 2015 by Lauren Puleo
“Morning Phase” Wins Album of the Year
Release Date: 2/25/14
After the Grammys last week, Beck sure wasn’t singing, “I’m a loser, baby” anymore. While the alt-rock icon took the stage to accept the award for Album of the Year, many viewers (most notably Kanye West) were shocked by this “upset”. How did Beck manage to beat out Beyonce, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Pharrell Williams? Well lemme tell ya…
Each year for the Grammys, all Recording Academy members vote for Album of the Year because the category is not genre-specific. Beyonce, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Pharrell all basically share the same listener base, so their supporters ended up inadvertently splitting their votes. This left the floor open for rock fans to unite and vote for the only rock album that received a nomination: Beck’s “Morning Phase“. Classic Survivor move, forcing the split vote. You can thank Cao Bui Bui from season thirteen for that one, Mr. Hansen. (Speaking of Survivor, it comes back on in two weeks. Season thirty here we gooo)
For all of you who aren’t Becksperts and haven’t kept tabs on Beck since 1994, don’t expect to hear the same guy who sang “Loser“. In the past twenty years Beck has evolved as an artist, leaving us with much wiser and less sarcastic lyrics. Morning Phase starts off with an instrumental introduction conducted by Beck’s own father, David Campbell. The next song, “Morning“, sets the tone for the rest of the album. Acoustic guitar, double-tracked vocals, ambiguous sad lyrics that are both universal and yet somehow deeply personal. Recommended tracks include “Morning“, “Say Goodbye“, “Blue Moon“, and “Don't Let It Go“.
Critics of the album say that this is Beck at his safest. He doesn’t take as many genre risks as he had in previous albums, and the music for the most part is very easy on the ears. At the same time, Beck displays a vocal ability that has been lauded as his best yet. So it’s really a give and take with this album. A little less envelope pushing in exchange for a little more tonal quality. I’ll take it.
In need of some light reading? Check out Beck’s interview with Will Ferrell in which the two discuss the word “solid”, red unitards, and auditioning for Cirque du Soleil.