Today's tracks up for review are numbers 1-4: "Cycle," "Morning," "Heart Is A Drum," and "Say Goodbye."
Morning Phase begins with a very sweet string intro, "Cycle." There's a great depth to it that pulls you in. It's only forty seconds, going right into the preceding song, but it does exactly what an intro is supposed to do and gets you excited for the record.
The transition into "Morning" is seamless as they are part of one another, and it has a great effect. What I think I like most about this track are the swells in dynamics, they have a wave-like quality to them that I find very relaxing. I like that the track as a whole is very simple, while still having multiple parts to it. The distance of the vocals add a cool, affective effect, particularly for this vibe. His vocal harmonies are great as well. The guitar and piano parts are sweet and simple, blending well with the strings and ambient feel of the groove. This number reminds me of the Flaming Lips a little bit. I dig it.
"Heart Is A Drum" goes right along with the same kind of simple, guitar-based groove. The layering of the vocals is really nice, and it adds a depth to the track that would have otherwise felt bare if it were just one or two vocal parts. I'm not a fan of the piano that comes in towards the latter half, I find it unnecessary and think it makes the groove sound a little cornier than it had prior. While this is certainly a nice, simple song, I think it might be a little long for what it is, as I found myself losing interest towards the end.
By "Say Goodbye," you get a sense of the vibe of this record. I like the simplicity to it, but I wish that this track had more of the dynamics that I enjoyed in "Morning." You can only have so much guitar with ambient vocals. I wish the vocals were up in the mix the whole song and not just on "to say goodbye," but I do really like the harmonies that come in on that line. The entrance of the banjo didn't do anything for me, and - like the piano in the previous track - I thought it made the song sound a little corny. Otherwise, it's a nice song. "Morning" is still my favorite of the day though.