Unless you're a fan of his comedic bump 'n' grind, Beck's practice of alternating between novelty records and acoustic albums only seems to pay off every couple of years, but it's worth the wait. Sea Change is as hushed as Midnight Vultures was obnoxiously boisterous, finding Beck in a mournful mood, moaning about a failed relationship. The songs themselves are impressive, as is Beck's lyrical openness, but the arrangements and production are what give the moping real substance. Beck incorporates everything from elements of Nick Drake and Pink Floyd to a massive quote from Serge Gainsbourg's Melody Nelson, while Radiohead sidekick Nigel Godrich builds the songs into something more by twisting tape around blending sounds in the background. It's as grandiose as a breakup record could be. Suddenly, Beck's upcoming tour, featuring the Flaming Lips as his backing band, makes perfect sense.