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Jeff Beck - Loud Hailer CD (album) cover


Jeff Beck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.73 | 49 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
3 stars After releasing the electronica-based blues albums i affectionately refer to as the "Techno Blue Trilogy," JEFF BECK seemed to have lost interest in releasing albums and engaged in all sorts of other activities whether touring or collaborating with others, BECK was clearly not too interested in cranking out the next studio album. It was six years between 2003's "Jeff" and 2010's "Emotion & Commotion" and likewise it would be another six years before LOUD HAILER would see the light of day. BECK wasn't just sitting on a beach somewhere getting a tan of course. During the six years he worked with Herbie Hancock, Seal, India.Aire, Konono No. 1, Oumou Sangare and set out on a world tour. He also received two honorary degrees from British universities and then worked with Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame. And then again there was more touring!

As expected LOUD HAILER took BECK into yet more new territories as his incessant sense of exploration never ceased despite reaching the ripe old age of 72 at the time of release. After several releases with a whole army of contributors, LOUD HAILER was a more stripped down affair that featured the sleek lineup of BECK along with Davide Sollazzi on drums and Giovanni Pollotti on bass. What really makes this album distinct is the inclusion of BONES UK electropop guitarist Carmen Vandenberg on board along with the riot grrrl vocal charm of Rosie Bones. Riot grrrl is an underground feminist punk rock movement that emerged in the 1990s often performed by all-female groups. While "Emotion & Commotion" was a dreamy flight into an orchestrated ambience, LOUD HAILER is a more direct in your face experience with biting political lyricism and a punkish directness absent from BECK's vocal oriented albums.

In many ways LOUD HAILER is the logical conclusion of the electronica meets the blues style. Although the big beats and techno wizardry are absent (for the most part), BECK's hard rockin' bluesy guitar playing is perfectly accented on this one by just enough electronic backdrops to make it the perfect chimeric conclusion although the primary emphasis sits squarely on BECK's classic blues rock sound. Sounding something like Alanis Morissette meets The Jeff Beck Group, LOUD HAILER is a unique tour de force that tapped into some of the 21st century's musical developments while keeping the business as usual aspect to BECK's playing firmly in the game. The dynamics of this one are interesting as the album features the equal creative input of BECK, Vandenberg and Bones. It's not surprising therefore that this album has a feminine charm absent from BECK's other albums despite his inclusion of women in his previous lineups.

Like many of BECK's later albums, LOUD HAILER is a mixed bag. Some tracks like the feisty opening "The Revolution Will Be Televised" and "Live In The Dark" perfectly embody this unlikely collaboration of female electro-punkers with BECK's traditional blues guitar roots. And then there are clunky duds like the funk-glazed "O.I.L. (Can't Get Enough of That Sticky)" which sounds like a joke in the context of the album. Also the closing "Shrine" drifts off into some sort of country rock. Like many such collaborations that BECK has initiated, the album doesn't gel together as a cohesive unit with various tracks just seeming out of place even if they aren't inherently horrible in their own right. "Pull It" is the perfect example as it harkens back to the techno blues days and would sound more at home on "Who Else!" although offering a stellar blues rock performance.

While BECK's explorations are commendable as are his generosity in exposing the world to newer young talent, i can't say that the execution of some of the later albums was pulled off as well as could be hoped for. In summary LOUD HAILER is a noble effort filled with some fascinating feisty bluesy rockers but the consistency of the album throughout is lacking. Not a bad album by any means but seems to have found the quality control record execs asleep at the wheel. Worth the time for the excellent tracks on board but inconsistent. Sadly this would be the last album released as an exclusive JEFF BECK album before his passing in January 2023.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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