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Albums Reviews

Jeff Beck

Emotion & Commotion
[Three stars]

Jun 10, 2010

Jeff Beck’s emotive electric guitar has always had a voicelike quality. So it’s fascinating to hear the ex-Yardbird bounce off singers here. Beck brings out the nasty in U.K. soul mama Joss Stone, and he does an operatic pas de deux with coloratura soprano Olivia Safe; on a wordless “Corpus Christi Carol,” he conjures the swoops of late singer Jeff Buckley, who famously covered it. But orchestral arrangements lard things down, and the variety, while admirable, makes for a scattered listen. Its best bits recall the laser focus of his 1975 classic, Blow by Blow, which is always worth revisiting.

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