When I read that Beck’s new album was to be somewhat of a revisiting of his 2002 release of ‘Sea Change
’, I began to think of how I was back then
and how I am now.
I first listened to that recording in the dead of winter on a lake in Eagles Mere, Pa. I was searching for hope at the time and that record filled me with calm and tranquility. Years have passed since and life has progressed and now in a different place I was fondly recalling that album and wondering what his new release, ‘Morning Phase
’ might be like. Early reviews stated that it was a reminiscent of those sounds and themes.
I was inspired to do some sketches of a potential painting of Beck and when Rolling Stone needed an illustration for this, I was ready. There were two things I was trying to do with this piece; one was to capture morning with it’s cold mist, and foggy, pink light, and the other goal was some sort of lyrically floating element. My sketches investigated these and in the end I agreed to proceed with a sparrow flying through the scene.
I’ve been trying to do different things lately. Sometimes the people who hire us need to see us a different way and I think that’s hard at times. Having illustrated so long a certain way, it takes a bit of courage for an AD and
me to do that. I think this painting moves me a bit into a new place.
Rolling Stone’s Will Hermes
gave Morning Phase 4 1/2 stars calling it an “instant folk-rock classic.”I’ve listened to it several times now and it is deeply beautiful.
In the second track, ‘Morning’, he sings…
“But can we start it all over again?
I let down my defenses
It was just you and me
I fought all out guesses
Won't you show me the way
It couldn't be?”
We all know Beck as the master of so many kinds of sounds, songs and music, but his lyrics are really powerful and he continues to be a remarkable artist in full bloom.