Emotion & Commotion – Jeff Beck | CD review

(ATCO/Warner) 5 stars

Here at last is the bravura studio album Jeff Beck had threatened to deliver since his classic mid-’70s albums, Blow By Blow and Wired.

Like the late Roy Buchanan, whom Beck admired greatly, the British guitar wunderkind can make his instrument cry one moment and deliver ear-shredding power-chords the next.

With Emotion & Commotion the entire arsenal of effects is on display, yet what distinguishes this album is the emotional intensity Beck achieves through sublime melodic leads over its rich orchestral arrangements, which include contributions by jazz vocalist Imelda May and opera singer Olivia Safe.


To listen to previews of tracks from this album, press the play button

With Emotion & Commotion the entire arsenal of effects is on display, yet what distinguishes this album is the emotional intensity Beck achieves through sublime melodic leads over its rich orchestral arrangements, which include contributions by jazz vocalist Imelda May and opera singer Olivia Safe.

He explores familiar instrumental themes, from Jeff Buckley’s version of Corpus Christi Carol to Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Puccini’s Nessun Dorma or Elegy for Dunkirk (from the movie Atonement).

These idyllic settings are interspersed with high-octane jazz-rock performances such as Hammerhead or vocalist Joss Stone’s sensational blues rendition of I Put A Spell On You.

Beck’s also a sensational live performer, just check out check out his remarkable 2009 concert double CD.

- Mike Daly

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