- Artist – Album: Beck – Sea Change
The last few weeks of Music Monday for me have been major artists who stripped away all artifice and showed the world their innermost thoughts to great effect. This is the third one, and it’s Beck. At this point, in 2003, he had had a long history of being rock’s quirkiest aural mixologist. It wasn’t just his bread and butter trick for a successful album; it was who he was. So for this album, he did the most shocking thing he could think of – and played it straight.
I still remember what happened when I first got this album on CD, when I put it in the home stereo and turned it up. Before I could get to the couch to listen to more, I heard the first jangly chord on his acoustic guitar, and for the first and only time in my life, I thought to myself then and there, “This is a five-star album.” I can’t explain it in words – I just knew it was the best album Beck ever put out.
And I was right.
He’s had more influential albums, but this was the one where he shed all the kitschy flair he loved to pin to his music and let his true feelings show. He had just gone through a horrible breakup at this time, and he turned his sadness into one of the greatest stare-at-the-ceiling, lava-lamp watching albums of all time.
Nowhere on the album does he lay himself more bare than on this track, Lonesome Tears. The musical buildup to the two lines from the chorus stick out in particular:
How could this love, ever turning
Never turn its eye on me?
How could this love, ever changing
Never change the way I feel?
Love doesn’t get much more stark than this.
Turn down the lights, put this song on repeat, and be prepared to overthink every failed relationship you’ve ever had.
Previous Music Monday Selections: https://kevinianbryan.com/musicmonday.html