Beck – Wave (from the album Morning phase)

Beck revisiting his work with Charlotte Gainsbourg from a few years ago (on her IRM album), in which he recruited his father David Campbell to channel the spirit of Jean-Claude Vannier, the man who added the stardust arrangements to what might otherwise have been Serge Gainsbourg’s sordid sexual psychodramas, most notably on Histoire de Melody Nelson.

Here Campbell’s strings are the only backing to Beck’s flailing, drowning vocal, suggesting first a deep-sea undertow, then some kind of soaring transcendance as the end approaches.

It’s a beautiful, although distinctly upsetting, piece, a mid-album emotional trough which reaches convincingly into the depths of relationship death.


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