I always thought Mutations was Beck’s most underappreciated record. My favorite of its many nifty tricks is how it sounds simple upon the first listen, then reveals more psychedelic layers upon each play.
I’ve listened to “Blue Moon,” the first single from Beck’s upcoming Morning Phase, his first studio album since 2008’s Modern Guilt, probably six times straight now, and I’m similarly noticing new depths. The gentle flange of the pointillist electric guitar line in the bridge. The unhurried ease of the muted tom rolls. The cavernous reverb that extends Beck’s doleful vocal melody spaceward. The slight out-of-phase doubling of the acoustic guitars. The variegated acoustic backing instruments. The smear of the delayed signal on those first few electric guitar notes (which sounds like a Strymon TimeLine in action, to me).
All this is to say, “Blue Moon” is sad and beautiful and you should listen to it. I’m getting a strong Mutations vibe from “Blue Moon.” A Sea Change vibe, at least. Moreover, I’m actually kind of excited about a Beck record for the first time since, well, Mutations.
Morning Phase is out on Capitol on Feb. 25.