Review: “Emotion and Commotion” by Jeff Beck
I’ll admit I was never into Jeff Beck until I saw him perform at last year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden. His stirring rendition of “A Day In the Life” was mesmerizing and I became an instant fan. His latest release, Emotion and Commotion, is, so far, my pick for album of the year.
Beck creates a beautiful landscape with his guitar tone and use of stringed instruments. Listening to these tunes is like looking at a exquisite painting, a breathtaking view of nature or a beautiful woman. You can see the sun going down while sitting on the beach on the opener, “Corpus Christi Carol.” The vision in “Serene” is of someone like Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, wind blowing through her hair, walking down the street like only she can. “Never Alone” reminds one of sitting in a New York City loft on a snowy night with only good things on the horizon. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is one of the best versions I’ve ever heard, and he puts his unique spin on “Nessun Dorma,” one of the best known tenor arias in all of opera.
Beck does ramp it up a bit on the biting “Hammerhead.” British soul singer, Joss Stone, who I don’t usually care for, does it right on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell on You” and Imelda May joins beck for the haunting “Lilac Wine.”
In a word, Emotion and Commotion, is “outstanding.” I’m just sorry I came to the Jeff Beck party so late, but better late than never.
“Never Alone” by Jeff Beck
“Corpus Christi Carol” by Jeff Beck
“Hammerhead” by Jeff Beck
“A Day In the Life” by Jeff Beck (from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert)