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Jeff Beck - Emotion & Commotion CD (album) cover


Jeff Beck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.12 | 79 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Emotion & Commotion' - Jeff Beck (7/10)

Seven years after his last album 'Jeff', legendary guitarist Jeff Beck decides to make an album covering well-known songs. While the lack of original material may be of some disappointment to anyone that was waiting for Beck to release something new and fresh, there's no mistake that with 'Emotion & Commotion', this is a collection of tracks the man really makes his own, through clever arrangement and soulful guitar playing. As a relative newcomer to the music of this man, it seems odd that my first earnest introduction to the music of this legend would be through him playing the compositions of others, but everything aside, the album makes for a very pleasant listen, even if it may have been nice to hear some new penned material from him.

With a 64 piece orchestra at his disposal and a host of guest musicians, it is clear that this isn't simply a way to churn out some basic covers and appease his starved fanbase, but rather a work of its own merit. The choice of songs Jeff Beck has chosen to play here are incredibly diverse in nature, ranging from the romantic classical staple 'Nessun Dorma' to the soulful number 'I Put A Spell On You'. All of these tracks are bound by Beck's distinctive style of playing, which is easily the best thing about the album. Even playing someone else's music, Beck puts his own spin on it, and he is one of the few guitarists I've ever heard that puts feeling and intention into each note he plays. Nothing here showcases his technical ability, but rather his ability to shape each slower note into beautifully meticulous sounds.

On top of Jeff Beck's perfect guitar work here, there are great arrangements for each song. Of special note is the symphonic element here; which never feels really fulfilled, but adds a nice dimension to the music. The vocal work here on a few songs is decent enough, but Joss Stone and Imelda May's contributions only really feel like those of generic female jazz vocalists. Of the tracks here, the most beautiful here is 'Nessun Dorma', which takes the orchestra to its peak on the album, and features Jeff Beck at his peak of emotional delivery.

There is some really beautiful stuff here, and although its still only a covers album, it's one of the best I've ever heard.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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