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Jeff Beck - You Had It Coming CD (album) cover


Jeff Beck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.59 | 55 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Who says an old dog can't be taught new tricks?

Guitar legend and musical chameleon Jeff Beck met the 21st century head on with a new sound to match the new millennium: part techno grunge, part industrial electronica, but without ever sacrificing the patented lyricism of his distinctive guitar style.

The album is only 36 minutes long, but packs a lot into its all-too brief length. Most of it is instrumental, ranging from the aptly titled opening salvo "Earthquake" (having lived through a few during my childhood in Northern California, I can vouch for the song's unsettling sense of power) to the lush ambient chillout of the album closer, "Suspension". In between is the aggressive Harley-Davidson hip-hop of "Roy's Toy"; some gorgeous East Indian motifs (in "Nadia"); and lots of raw, effects-heavy soloing (I'm thinking in particular of the rocket-fueled instrumental "Loose Cannon", a personal favorite).

And before you accuse Beck of completely abandoning his musical roots, lend an ear to the more traditional blues of "Rollin' and Tumblin'". The song dates back to the days of Hambone Willie Newbern, and has since been covered by (I'm sure among many others) Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and The Grateful Dead. But here it's updated with enough testosterone to fuel a small sports car, and graced by the appropriately soulful vocals of Imogen Heap (recorded in a single take, I'm told).

Fans of the guitarist's older blues and fusion recordings might not be ready to appreciate his latest change in direction. But the album (and his self-titled 2003 follow-up) should appeal to the same forward-thinking listeners who applauded the V-drum improvisations of the more recent KING CRIMSON. Personally speaking, here's one old dog ready to roll over for music like this any day.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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