Music News

Jeff Beck: Emotion & Commotion

What the critics are saying:

Chicago Tribune: "New Age Beck? It's something like that. In emulating great vocalists he has admired, from Jeff Buckley to Judy Garland, the guitarist conjures a serene lyricism. Female vocalists drawn from the worlds of opera (Olivia Safe), swing (Imelda May) and soul (Joss Stone) provide window-dressing, and the symphony orchestra accompaniment is gratuitous. This is mostly a study in melody and melancholy, with Beck's plaintive tone at its best on the complicated romanticism of "Lilac Wine," the hymn-like "Corpus Christi Carol" and the sighing "Elegy for Dunkirk." On these tracks, the guitarist articulates and then savors each note as if it were his last."

Hindustan Times: "This time around, he chooses to interpret classical works, songs from musicals, opera as well as blues covers. So behold pieces like Nessun Dorma, Corpus Christi Carol, Judy Garland's 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow',Screamin Jay Hawins, I Put A Spell On You', with guest vocals by Joss Stone. And even more amazing is the band, on bass is 24-year-old wondergirl, Tal Wilkenfeld, on drums is virtuoso Vinnie Colaiuta and playing keybards is jazzman, Jason Rebello. Expect some Grammies here next year.
Bottom Line: Pure emotion, No commotion, thankfully."

The Independent: "Jeff Beck has to be the most eclectic of the great guitar heroes, rarely restricting himself to a single mode across an entire album, yet without once abandoning the signature touches that enable one to recognise his hand the moment it strays across the strings. Here, his muse wanders between classical and R&B, standards and early music, with just the whizz-bang stunt-guitar flourishes of "Hammerhead" representing his trademark muscular fusion-metal riffing. There's a guitar-and-strings version of the "Corpus Christi Carol", inspired by Jeff Buckley's interpretation, Beck's subtle control of tone, volume and sustain characteristics quietly accumulating emotional momentum."

Blogcritics: "Beck's solos just have this way of cutting through air like so many shards of shattering glass. The best part about them though, is the way they always leave you salivating for more. The first thing you notice about the new Emotion & Commotion is that these same type of short, staccato blasts are somewhat less prevalent. But when they do come, they deliver exactly the same dizzying effect of literally knocking you on your tush, only to pick yourself up off the ground to ask, "thank you sir, may I have another?"

Emotion & Commotion is out now via ATCO Records (a subdivision of Rhino Entertainment).
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Michael Lopez