Morning Phase

Music review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
Morning Phase Music Poster Image
Moody, contemplative album is dark, lovely, and uplifting.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The album features a lot of dark, moody themes such as the struggle against a feeling of hopelessness and depression. But many of the tracks show Beck fighting to overcome despair or to find himself, as in the the song "Don't Let It Go": "These are some faults we found / Hollowed out from the years / Don't let them wear you out / Don't let them turn your mind inside-out."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The lyrics in many of the songs support standing up for yourself or finding your own path, both of which are hallmarks of a good role model. 


The song "Morning" references weapons with "Guns are falling, they don't have nowhere to go," and "Blue Moon" uses war as a metaphor for relationships with "you can't save the ones you've caught in battle." But none of the tracks refers to actual violence.


Many of the songs refer to adult relationships but have no sexy language or imagery. "Blackbird Chain" mentions "ex-seducers" but doesn't get any more explicit.


Capital Records partnered with the in-flight music provider Gogo to stream Morning Phase for free on flights for a month.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know the album Morning Phase is a moody exploration of self-discovery from an older, wiser Beck. Although the songs do reference adult relationships and feelings, with no iffy language, sexy stuff, or references to drugs or alcohol, the album is mostly appropriate for tweens and up.

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What's the story?

Beck's twelfth studio album MORNING PHASE shows a return to the ethereal, melancholy style he showed on 2002's Sea Change. The beautiful folk-rock tunes explore what to do when one is faced with despair and hopelessness. Although the themes are often dark and melancholic, Morning Phase is ultimately about personal acceptance and the struggle to stay strong and resilient in the face of challenge: "If I surrender / And I don't fight this wave / No, I won't go under."

Is it any good?

Fans of Sea Change will be completely swept away by the dreamy, ethereal sounds of Morning Phase, while admirers of Beck's more post-modern, synth-heavy work such as Odelay may feel a bit let down. It's a beautiful, well-produced album, but the fact that it sounds like an extension of Sea Change at times may be a disconnect for some listeners. But don't let that take away from some ultimately lovely and moving tracks.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the overall message of the album. Do you hear the positive takeaways? Identify lyrics that speak to strength and persistence. 

  • Why do you think Beck chose to explore the same musical style he used on Sea Change, which is a departure from what he's done on more recent albums? Does it feel like a continuation of Sea Change or a completely separate project? 

Music details

  • Artist: Beck
  • Release date: February 25, 2014
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Capitol
  • Genre: Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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