Sea Change

Sea Change

4.8 15
by Beck

Nearly a decade after he announced himself with the slacker anthem "Loser," Beck Hansen has become one of the most prolific, talented, and well-rounded artists of his generation. Artistic development is a rarity in an age of prefab teenypop, predictable rap, and recycled rock clichés, so Beck, who's delved into country, hip-hop, psychedelic rock, funk, tropicalia, and…  See more details below


Nearly a decade after he announced himself with the slacker anthem "Loser," Beck Hansen has become one of the most prolific, talented, and well-rounded artists of his generation. Artistic development is a rarity in an age of prefab teenypop, predictable rap, and recycled rock clichés, so Beck, who's delved into country, hip-hop, psychedelic rock, funk, tropicalia, and more, is a true standout. But nothing he's done -- not his stripped-down 1994 album One Foot in the Grave or the relatively straight-ahead Mutations -- foreshadowed the soul-baring, artifice-free tack of Sea Change, a sincere, folk-based album spun around breakup songs of the saddest order. Lyrically, the heartbroken Beck douses his beer with tears, sadly admitting that "Baby, I'm a lost cause" ("Lost Cause") and "It's only lies that I'm livin'/it's only tears that I'm cryin'/It's only you that I'm losin'/I guess I'm doin' fine" ("Guess I'm Doin' Fine"). The undecorated lyrics belie a wealth of winning musical touchstones. The lush strings, gorgeous guitar picking, and aching delivery of Nick Drake figure into "Round the Bend" and "Already Dead," while confessional sob singers such as the Red House Painters' Mark Kozelek, Mark Eitzel, and Jeff Buckley inform "Nothing I Haven't Seen" and "All in Your Mind." Beck's intimate delivery makes the songs ring true, casting them in stark relief to the raunchy, Prince-ly funk of 1999's Midnite Vultures. Beck can't, however, keep his upper lip stiff throughout: With its swooning strings, slithery bass line, and funky guitar licks, "Paper Tiger" echoes Serge Gainsbourg's lascivious "Melody." But mostly, Sea Change finds our little musical wunderkind with a bruised heart and soul -- and the daring and artistic wherewithal to make something useful of it.

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Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - David Fricke
Sea Change is... the real thing -- a perfect treasure of soft, spangled woe sung with a heavy open heart. It's the best album Beck has ever made.
Spin Magazine - Will Hermes
Ever since Odelay's misleadingly titled "Jack-Ass," Beck's been trying to capture the spiritual fatigue underlying his snarky superhit "Loser." Sea Change nails it just when we could all use a reflective time out. (9)
Blender - RJ Smith
This is folk gone perverse, like a harmonica dipped in Vaseline.

Product Details

Release Date:
Geffen Records


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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Beck   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Piano,Harmonica,Percussion,Orchestra Bells,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Wurlitzer
Nigel Godrich   Synthesizer,Percussion,Keyboards
Roger Manning   Synthesizer,Piano,Banjo,Percussion,Harmonium,Background Vocals,Clavinet,Wurlitzer,Indian Banjo,Orchestra Bells
Smokey Hormel   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar,Bamboo Saxophone,Bamboo Flute
Joey Waronker   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals,Beat Box
Justin Meldal-Johnsen   Percussion,Piano,Electric Bass,Orchestra Bells,Background Vocals,Double Bass,Electric Guitar
Jason Faulkner   Percussion,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Suzie Katayama   Cello
David Campbell   Conductor
James Gadson   Drums
Jason Falkner   Percussion,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
David Campbell   Conductor
David Cambell   Conductor

Technical Credits

Nigel Godrich   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Beck   String Arrangements,Art Direction
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Kevin Reagan   Art Direction
Autumn de Wilde   Cover Photo
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Paul Bishow   Executive Producer
David Cambell   String Arrangements

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Sea Change 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Easily the best new album I've bought in years . . . and I buy a lot of albums. I've listened to it steadily for months, and it hasn't begun to wear old. Beck was fun before, and certainly talented. But on this album he emerges as an artist unrivalled by his peers. This album will break your heart, beautifully.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beck's new album is really swell. It's a country- psychedelic fusion which makes it grand in my book. Thanks once again Beck
Guest More than 1 year ago
"After The Gold Rush." Great for making melancholy California love during a rolling blackout.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is with out a doubt the first album released by beck hansen. all previous albums were released by beck. the vulnerability beck exposes as he pours emotions out of his broken heart after the end of an 8 year relationship presents a side of beck never heard before. He wrote the album in a couple of days, yet his ingenious musicianship came through filling the album with clever arrangements and reflective lyrics. Arguably his best album yet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beck amazes me yet again, but in a different way than usual...this is a magnificent album that weeps love & heartache, while searching the soul for the love of life...Lonesome Tears, Little One, Paper Tiger, and Already Dead are standout tracks for me. It's a beautifully sad album without being just plain depressing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the most breath-taking album! Beck conveys his soul to you in a way that he hasnt on previous records. I espcially loved the songs Little One, because it's so psycedelic, and Already Dead, because it really shows a pain we can all relate to. i absolutely reccomend this to any one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've never really listened to Beck before, but after reading some of the critics reviews on this album I had to give it a listen. It is remarkable, not what I expected at all. These songs just take you away. The folksy songs remind me of the Strawbs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a CD to sit down and *listen* to. Sea Change is one of the most cohesive albums of the last decade, and certainly Beck's masterpiece - his raison d'etre. No one has ever denied Beck's originality, and he delivers an original score here once again. This is an album that comes from his heart - a place we have been privileged to catch a glimpse of. The sense of heartbreak in the album is something with which we can all empathize, and for which we should thank Beck for so eloquently reminding us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For whatever reason, there's nothing like personal anguish to bring out the best in an artist, and Beck is (along with Missy Elliot) one of the great talents our generation has produced. Sea Change is undoubtedly one of the greatest albums I've heard in my 33 years, I couldn't find one thing bad to write about it if I wanted to. Even on his other albums there were weak spots- not here. Beck's misery is our gain, top-notch hauntingly beautiful album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
here it is 2 years later and I still go back to this one regularly, and it still rings true.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew who he was at first,but never heard him. And when I did,I was captivated. I think "Sea Change" is the only CD by him that I like because I think his other CD's are just weird,but weird is good. This is a CD where you hear it and you're just stunned and can't move until it's over,and then when it's over you rush back into your busy old life,but still are secrety thinking about this baby-faced sweetheart. I'd take him as my boyfriend any day. But if his long time girlfriend didn't dump him we wouldn't have "Sea Change".
dygunraider More than 1 year ago
I became a fan of Beck after purchasing his latest effort Modern Guilt its been a while since I bought that one, and I decided I should explore his music more. For hours on end I scourged the internet looking for which album was the highest, best rated, and most essential. As tedious as that was research pays off. After a long period I finally decided to invest in this album Sea Change. An epic name for sure, but does it hold up to the reviews, honors, and hype? I am glad to say yes to all of these the album is an undoubteble masterpiece. Now to understand the album you need to know that it, was inspired by Beck's girlfriend of nine years breaking up with him. After nine years what could make someone suddenly decide that it was enough? Unforseen flaws, idiosyncrasies? We will probably never know, but it is a good thing they broke up. Now I know that sounds absoulutely heartless and cynical, but if they hadnt broke up we would not have this album, and the album being quite good is reason enough for that. This album represented a serious change for Beck, through out the ninties he became known for his weird eccentric experimental music. Music which generally sold well, this album is unique in that Beck dosnt appear to be charting unknown territory. Rather taking a long walk through the woods, the woods that some of us love and some of us hate, but most of us know. Echoes of hundreds of album can be heard in this, you might say thats unoriginal but seeing as that accoustic songs with heartfelt lyrics that ring true have been around since Amazing Grace, its actually quite hard to sing into a field as blanket as this. But never fazed Beck does it strongly and with luster. This is one of those albums that make you smile, nolstalgic, and well... cry. This albums kind of like a photo album of the relationship that inspired it. It shows the good, the bad, the things humans hate, the things we love. It starts with a reminiscence of the good old days, ''The Golden Age'' then it goes through life some of it sad some resentful, by the final track ''Side of The Road'' one would feel as if they had just read a truly profound book, or seen an unforgettable film, something that captures the essence of the human experience perfectly. Few things are able to do this, Sea Change happens to be one of them. Its somewhat Ironic as a whole that beck ventured into this genre, but thats Becks signature sense of humour right there, to show us the things we miss the little things that mean more than anyone could imagine. So to some degree by venturing into a used up and dry field,Beck has used his humor to leave us with something, something ironic, and as we all know Beck loves Irony. CM
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