This is Jeff Beck’s first album in six years – his last one being 2010’s “Emotions and Commotions” – and what a dramatic change in direction it is too (a real surprise from this man of surprises.) This is Beck going back to more of a ‘rock’ theme with no cover versions, and Beck is adept at covering great songs, remember his version of “A Day in The Life” by the Beatles?” That having been said, this is not a rock album like back in the bad old days of Beck, Bogart & Appice (1973). Not to say that was a bad album, just an album of its time. This latest offering veers far from that but it’s still a rock album none the less, with sculptured songs and aggressive guitar work.
In Beck’s own words, this is an album of the love of power, and the power of love. Seeing the state the world has got itself into and not being able to contain his emotions over the events, Beck felt he had to at least say something with his god given talent.
“I really wanted to make a statement about some of the nasty things I see going on in the world today, and I love the idea of being at a rally and using the loud hailer to shout my point of view,” he says.
His objective is more than achieved with this great album. Rosie Bones has been employed as the front girl for the recording and she sings with such charm that you feel yourself willing her to be right. Her singing is front and center of every song, but in no way detracts from Beck’s playing right alongside her. The centerpiece of the album is a song called “Right Now”, which concerns the youth of today and was co-written by Beck, himself a stately 72 years young. The lyrics of this track literally scream at you:
Sign up for fame and sign up for money
They don’t want to work. They think it’s funny
Famously famous for nothing at all
Perfectly packaged, No distinguishing feature
You plastic, fantastic pretty little creature
I want it right now, right now.
Strong lyrics indeed, but overall not as strong as the music that backs it all up and Beck is the master of the guitar all the way through. He’s probably not the greatest rock’n’roll guitarist these days, but without a shadow of a doubt he is the greatest electric guitarist on this planet of ours, making the guitar wail, scream and talk like no one else can.
As well as being backed by the amazing Rosie Bones, who surely has a huge career ahead of her, Beck has also pulled around him a crack team to play this collection of songs. The band consists of Carmen Vandenberg on guitar, David Sollazzi on drums and Giovanni Pallutti on bass, all masters of their class. And you’ll notice for the first time in simply ages, no keyboards.
Jeff Beck is always best listened to in the live environment, but this is as close as it gets to perfection in the studio. Long may the music continue to pour out of him and for the latest Live experience, listen to “Jeff Beck Live+”.
The Revolution will be Televised
Live in The Dark
Pull It For The Children
The Ballad Of The Jersey Wives
O.I.L (Can’t Get Enough Of That)
Note: Album review written by Mott the Dog and Hells Bells. Mott The Dog and his cronies can often be found slurping from their bowls at Jameson’s, Nova Park, Soi AR in Pattaya.