Jeff Beck - Emotion & Commotion
Jeff Beck has never been one to take the easy option, his whole career seemingly an attempt to shake off the stigma of having been the man behind perennial office party singalong ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining'. It is with some trepidation then that we approach Emotion & Commotion, his first long player in seven years, but these deep seated fears prove unfounded as Beck appears to have mellowed in his dotage. The first thing that strikes the listener is the lush production carrying forth Beck’s distinctive guitar tones, which currently sit somewhere between the half-cocked wah wah honk of Knopfler and the epic sweep of Gilmour, and it’s a stroke of genius which has brought the inimitable Trevor Horn into battle. Production plaudits aside however it is the instrumental genius of Beck which demands, and receives, rapt attention throughout. Even experimental orchestrally tinged stabs at classics such as ‘Over The Rainbow’ and ‘Nessun Dorma,’ which could become horribly cheesy in the wrong hands (we’re looking at you Hank), fire the imagination and stir the soul. The irascible maestro is even laid back enough to share the spotlight now and again and thus we find Joss Stone tearing up the classic ‘I Put a Spell On You’ while Imelda May wraps her husky vocal chords around ‘Lilac Wine’. Emotion & Commotion is nigh on essential for anyone with a love of instrumental guitar and proves to be an apt title for a genuine tour de force which puts Jeff Beck right back where he belongs.