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Sea Change

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Editors’ Notes

This album is Mastered for iTunes. 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.

Customer Reviews

Like a stray dog gone defective

I was three months post break up, still dazed. When in a computer store buying a ream of bright white printer paper, I heard this song from the iPod display, the sweeping visuals of the strings grounded by pacing lyric. I found this song, bought the CD, after a few listens I strangely felt better, if only to know that someone else knew that strange, dark place of remorse and grief we privately keep hidden after the sudden loss of love. "Paper Tiger" would become a landmark song for me. And I would become a Beck fan

Holy crap, Beck

This album is so different from the rest of Beck's albums, yet it is just as good, even better. The lyrics are amazing, and as you listen to great song after great song, you never want the album to end. I don't see any real "stand-out" songs because every song is just as great as the last. This is a good album to just sit down and listen to while thinking about life. Spectacular.

I Hate Pandora Now

For the past some weeks I've been listening to Beck over Pandora. I've heard songs from almost every album on there, but surprisingly I've heard nothing from this album. Now I'm wondering what Pandora's problem is not sharing any of the songs on this album. This is an incredible album. Beck's use of sublimation over a break-up really sounds excellent. Too many artists always try for a really good break-up song when they should try for a break-up album. This is absolutely amazing. Get it while the world hasn't ended yet.


Born: July 8, 1970 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Initially pegged as the voice of a generation when "Loser" turned into a smash crossover success, Beck wound up crystallizing much of the postmodern ruckus inherent in the '90s alternative explosion, but in unexpected ways. Based in the underground anti-folk and noise-rock worlds, Beck encompassed all manner of modern music, drawing in hip-hop, blues, trash rock, pop, soul, lounge music -- pretty much any found sound or vinyl dug up from a dusty crate -- blurring boundaries and encapsulating how...
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