Jeff Beck’s “Emotion & Commotion”: More of the Same

Yes, he’s really good at playing the guitar. But for some reason 65-year old English guitarist Jeff Beck, revered by his peers since his mid-1960’s turn as Eric Clapton’s replacement in the Yardbirds, has mostly eluded mainstream attention outside his appearance in the video for a Rod Stewart-sung version of “People Get Ready” in 1987. Emotion & Commotion, his first album in seven years, gives listeners a good idea why: as always, Beck is what people more concerned with songwriting than flashy guitar solos – or even equally concerned – call a “wanker.” And on Emotion & Commotion the wanking is made even worse by an inapt and ubiquitous string section that’s so cheesy it all but ruins two beautiful Jeff Buckley covers (one sung by Joss Stone). Even an impressive take on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell On You” – with Stone howling as Beck’s Stratocaster screams – gets the ruinous orchestral treatment just as it takes flight. So much for blues purity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s