Despite Kanye West’s protests, Prince gave the award to the right artist. Beck did one heck of an album. Why the protests? Probably because it was the least mainstream-sounding album among those up for award at the competition, which is exactly why it deserved to win.
Kanye West really needs to give Beck’s album another listen.
Beating out albums by Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, and Sam Smith was Morning Phase, the 12th(!) album by singer-songwriter Beck. The album actually garnered 3 awards. Besides Album of the Year it won Best Rock Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.
It’s a lighter, less in-your-face album than the rest. He’s using a philosophy of songwriting to create a classic, rather than a temporary pop hit. There are enough of those on the market. Maybe that’s why Kanye was upset. Beck was the oddball. He focused on softer music with more emphasis on instrumentation and top-notch engineering. Something you can melt into and feel good about listening to. Not all of the works he is famous for have taken that approach. It’s good to see him get recognized when he does take such an approach.
When the songs and lyrics are too in your face, even aggressive, like many songs are these days, you tire of them quickly. Beck puts himself in the background and puts the musicians and the overall album sound up front. Beck took the opposite approach and won.