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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 and eras of music, blurring boundaries and blazing a path into the future while simultaneously foraging through the past.
Surfacing just as alternative rock went mainstream, no small thanks to his 1994 debut “Mellow Gold,” Beck quickly confounded expectations with subsequent releases including the lo-fi folk of “One Foot in the Grave,” delivered on the K imprint. But the album that truly cemented Beck’s place in the pantheon was 1996’s multi-platinum “Odelay,” that touched upon all of his obsessions, providing a cultural keystone for the decade from the indelible hook of "Devil's Haircut" to the irresistible call and response of the anthemic "Where It's At."
And now Beck rolls into 2014 with the promise of not one but two new records. First up, and possibly the single most anticipated release of the new year, is Beck's 12th album, “Morning Phase.” Likened by some to a companion piece of sorts to Beck’s 2002 masterpiece “Sea Change,” “Morning Phase” features many of the same musicians who played on that record--and who also currently accompany Beck live: Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner. “Morning Phase” harkens back to the stunning harmonies, classic Californian song craft and staggering emotional impact of that record, while surging forward with infectious optimism.