Saturday, April 17, 2010

Emotion & Commotion - by Jeff Beck

Just finished and loved the first listening of the new release, "Emotion & Commotion" by Jeff Beck.

This is one of those CDs you immediately know you will hear and enjoy a hundred subtleties you missed, once you listen to it the 2nd and 3rd time.

Beck's first studio album in seven years, it is an interesting and well blended mixture of blues, mellow rock and classical.

Long known as a veteran rock guitar virtuoso, Beck has you wondering what you'll even hear at first. You half expect a barrage of distortion and blistering scales to break out any second, but it remains controlled and deliberate.

I am not as much of a fan of the more orchestral, "musical" parts (recorded with a 64-piece orchestra) as I am the bluesier instrumentals, but you have to admire the sheer scope of merging them so seamlessly.

The crying guitar over strings on "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" might be the album's best crafted example of this combination of the genres.

The four tracks with guest vocals were well placed, particularly the subtle take of "I Put a Spell on You" with Joss Stone, that certainly does justice to the Hawkin's classic.

The two later threaten to throw off all previous restraint with the building intensity of "There's No Other Me", only to see Beck bring it right back down again with the sad wail of the last instrumental, "Elegy For Dunkirk".

Unsurprisingly, Jeff's signature, melodic and understated solos effortlessly shine above the rest.

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