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Sea Change


Price: $8.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Audio CD, September 24, 2002
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Image of album by Beck

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Biography

Beck has traveled light years from being pegged as a reluctant generational spokesperson when “Loser” metamorphosed from a rejected demo to a ubiquitous smash. Instead he wound up crystallizing much of the post-modern ruckus of the ‘90s alternative explosion, but in his own unpredictable manner: Beck's singular career has been one that's seen him utilize all manners ... Read more in Amazon's Beck Store

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Sea Change + Morning Phase
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope
  • ASIN: B00006F7S4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (553 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,129 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Golden Age
2. Paper Tiger
3. Guess I'm Doing Fine
4. Lonesome Tears
5. Lost Cause
6. End Of The Day
7. It's All In Your Mind
8. Round The Bend
9. Already Dead
10. Sunday Sun
11. Little One

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Beck is bummed. Really bummed. And if song titles such as "Lost Cause," "Lonesome Tears," "Already Dead," and "Nothing I Haven't Seen" don't make the point, his achingly sad lyrics and Sea Change's unerringly downcast sound do. While 1998's Mutations--arguably the singer-songwriter's masterwork and Sea Change's spiritual cousin--was filled with unflinching self-examination, moments of levity were found in songs like "Tropicalia." Not so on Sea Change. Beck's woozy, almost narcoleptic delivery seems to amplify the set's sense of ennui. But sad isn't necessarily bad, and despite the somber tone, there's much to praise, not the least of which is the return of producer Nigel Goderich (Mutations, Radiohead), who wraps Beck's gloom in a dreamy, warm blanket of soft strings and floating bleeps and gurgles. Like Daniel Lanois, Goderich is all about vibe, and even Beck's most bare-bones songs benefit from billowy atmospherics. That's especially true of "Paper Tiger," a restless, slowly building epic improbably propelled by a languid orchestra and Beck's expressionless drone. The inky black feel of "Round the Bend"--a glacially slow dirge with muffled vocals--may be the darkest thing Beck's ever written, not counting the very grim "Already Dead." Whatever's going on in Beck's world, at least we know he's purging, which, all things considered, may be better for his soul than ours. --Kim Hughes

Product Description

Customer Reviews

The lyrics are very beautiful and heartfelt.
K. Miller
I feel Beck's songwriting and musical skills are at their peak on this album.
Dano M
Each time you listen to the album, it gets better and better!
Ben

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Brooks Williams on October 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
You've got to wonder what Beck's ex-girlfriend is feeling right now. Imagine this, your boyfriend of nine years, whom you've recently broken up with, has just released an sad album on which *every* song is about his post-breakup depression. On top of that, the album received five-stars from Rolling Stone (only the second this year) and is considered by many to be an instant classic. The ex-boyfriend is Beck and his album is called Sea Change.
The music is deceptively simple and beautiful. The wackiness of Beck's previous efforts is gone and the blatant weirdness is replaced by an backward sincerity. Musically and lyrically, this album is very real. The music creates a soft bed upon which Beck's voice floats over, lands on, and sinks into. The vocal performance is in stark contrast to the "heartfelt" pop-vocal performances of today. Beck is whispering his sorrows in our collective ear, rather than screaming at us. It is a very bold and personal effort.
Sea Change, while not yet being called a concept album, seems to follow the appropriate rules for a concept album. The first song, "Golden Age" sets up the mood and the situation. "Put your hands on the wheel / Let the golden age begin / Let the window down / Feel the moonlight in your skin / Let the desert wind cool your aching head / Let the weight of the world drift away instead" Beck is welcoming us into his melancholy world, telling you to hold on, allow his sadness (moonlight) to touch you, and escape into his pain. Likewise, the song's instrumentation begins simply with an acoustic guitar and ends with a kind of electronic white noise.
The last song, "Side Of The Road", wraps up the journey by returning the listener to the road; the trip is over.
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333 of 348 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was having lunch in a vegetarian restaurant in Seattle when I heard this great song being played over the restaurants sound system. The singer sounded like he was accompanied by the philharmonic orchestra. I asked the waiter what was playing and he said; Beck's Sea Change. The song playing was Lonesome Tears, and I know that much because after finishing lunch I went right out and bought the CD. I am over fifty years old and mostly listen to folk music (hank dogs, hem, gillian welch, folkers like that)so buying a Beck CD was kind of out of my range. I have discovered that in the most unusual musical way that Sea Change is actually addicting. I would put a label on this CD: Warning, may be habit forming! I see that it has been referred to as a downer, a bummer, that Beck is in transition from some dark place. Do not let that steer you off course from Sea Change. The music just takes you along on this sea of sensation, and not once have I felt brought down by it. Infact it seems to put me at ease, as if I have surrendered my anxiety. I can listen to it on my way to work in the morning and last thing at night and its effect seems to have the same results, I want to play it all over again. Thank you for sharing your formidable talent,Beck. I expect your next CD to be something entirely different as that is your apparent musical nature.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "christophercabin" on September 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
We all know that breaking up is hard to do. Somewhere between listening to Bob Dylan's prolific Blood on the Tracks, Joy Division's beautiful "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and Jeff Buckley's heartbreaking "Last Goodbye", I think we get the point that breaking up is a real melancholic deal. So it's little surprise that Beck's new album, Sea Change, reportedly about the break up between him and his longtime girlfriend, is about as cheery as an empty house in the dead of winter. That's not to say that it's not a superb album; Sea Change is Beck's greatest album since his classic Odelay.
The album starts off with the forlorn lullaby "The Golden Age" in which he admits "These days\ I hardly get by\ I don't even try". Beck hasn't been this open since 1998's sarcastically damper Mutations, and the only song on that record to reach this kind of emotional grab was the solemn "Nobody's Fault but My Own". 96's Odelay and 99's Midnite Vultures were fantastic, but songs like "Milk and Honey", "The New Pollution" and "Hollywood Freaks" offered up little for emotional resonance. Sea Change offers up only emotion, and it's the grim type. "Paper Tiger" rides on a wavy bass line and has orchestras floating in and out of the background while Beck mumbles "There's no road back to you". The music gets a little more cheerful on "Lost Cause" but with its chanting chorus of "Baby, I'm a Lost Cause", it doesn't stray too far. But all the funky, happy rhythms that Beck has made in his career can outweigh the utter glacier chill of the heart wrenching "Lonesome Tears". Beck howls under a maze of orchestras at the chorus "How could this love/Ever changing/Never change the way I feel" in a voice that would make the reaper sob. The song is haunting and sits itself right next to your heart. The entire album hits a spot in the listener's gut where it won't come loose. In a world of mostly forgettable and redundant music, Sea Change is a gem, even if the edges cut.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Orphelius Q. Witherspoon on September 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If Beck had manic depression, and "Midnite Vultures" was his manic phase, then "Sea Change" is the hard-hitting, depressive comedown. I've been a huge Beck fan for years, and even I was surprised by this departure. "Sea Change" gives up his trademark abstract lyricism for words that are sadder and more sparse. Many of these songs, especially "Round the Bend", recall "Pink Moon"-era Nick Drake.
All sadness aside, Nigel Goodrich did an amazing production job on this album. Songs like "Already Dead" and "Side of the Road" are simple acoustic-guitar-driven affairs. At other times, with soaring string arrangements and cavernous vocal reverb, many of the songs have an epic quality ("Sunday Sun", "Lonesome Tears", etc).
This is, essentially, a Beck album without any moments of levity, which can make it quite a tough listen. But then again, if you've had a tough day, this might just be perfect for you. For first time purchasers of a Beck disc, start elsewhere. For Beck fans, however, this should be a welcome addition to the collection.
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