It’s been six years since Beck released an album, and it’s been well worth the wait. Morning Phase has been dubbed “California music” by the artist himself, as he draws on musical inspirations from greats like Neil Young, Gram Parsons, The Byrds, and CS&N. Beck also touts his latest release to be a kind of companion piece to his 2002 album Sea Change, though with lighter and lusher sounds. The acoustically driven Morning Phase is thoughtfully penned, and perfectly shows off Beck’s unique voice; his trademark funky, post-modern beats have been replaced by expansive and richly textured melodies. The lead single, “Blue Moon,” features airy drums and a pretty mandolin/piano melody, and showcases Beck’s vocal self-assuredness as he sings of loneliness and insecurity. “Waking Light”’s sanguine piano chords and brighter tones hint at the hope and promise of a new day. It seems that Beck has emerged on the other side, and everything’s gonna be alright.

-Rachel Globensky