12 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's often suggested that Sea Change is Beck's "breakup record." It is certainly his least joyous, his least experimental, and his most mono-tonal. It's a heart-wrenching listen that takes up permanent residence in the acoustic sadcore wing of Heartbreak Hotel. From the opening chords and lonely strokes of slide guitar that begin "The Golden Age" through the final somber notes of "Side of the Road," there's no moment where an errant hip-hop beat or distorted guitar solo flips past in ironic glee. This direct approach has an unsettling, often beautifully austere result. "Guess I'm Doing Fine" sounds like the life-affirming greeting of a dead man. "Already Dead" sounds like a walk through the gardens of a mental institution with a patient who's been heavily sedated while recounting the sorry events that led him there. Much like broken-hearted troubadours - Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters or Hayden, spring to mind - Beck looks to connect without artifice.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's often suggested that Sea Change is Beck's "breakup record." It is certainly his least joyous, his least experimental, and his most mono-tonal. It's a heart-wrenching listen that takes up permanent residence in the acoustic sadcore wing of Heartbreak Hotel. From the opening chords and lonely strokes of slide guitar that begin "The Golden Age" through the final somber notes of "Side of the Road," there's no moment where an errant hip-hop beat or distorted guitar solo flips past in ironic glee. This direct approach has an unsettling, often beautifully austere result. "Guess I'm Doing Fine" sounds like the life-affirming greeting of a dead man. "Already Dead" sounds like a walk through the gardens of a mental institution with a patient who's been heavily sedated while recounting the sorry events that led him there. Much like broken-hearted troubadours - Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters or Hayden, spring to mind - Beck looks to connect without artifice.

TITLE TIME

More By Beck