When: Wed., July 23, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Among current musicians with careers spanning multiple decades, Beck's the rarity: In more than 20 years, he's never released an awful record. At the start, he dropped a flurry of lo-fi folk-hop LPs, the best-produced of which bore his breakthrough slacker ode, "Loser." On Odelay, he applied Dadaist sensibilities to Paul's Boutique-style production. And then he was off: plumbing absurdist disco on Midnite Vultures, crying heartbroken folk-rock on Sea Change, conjuring Danger Mouse-assisted existential angst on Modern Guilt. He's forever stepping past his comfort zone, a move that keeps his music moving.
Beck's latest, Morning Phase, is lyric-driven acoustic music, like Sea Change's sequel. He's not happier, but if Sea Change's sad vibes dwelled in the desperate finality of a breakup, those of Morning Phase suggest a married couple after a fight. That is, it's going to get better, but it might take time. As Beck's audience has matured, so has he.—Corbie Hill