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Emotion & Commotion
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For his first studio album in seven years, Grammy-winning guitarist Jeff Beck returns with an eclectic mix of tracks that find the guitar virtuoso accompanied by a handpicked cast of talented musicians, as well as several songs accompanied by a 64-piece orchestra. Rhino unleashes the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer s restless genius with EMOTION & COMMOTION.
Beck recorded EMOTION & COMMOTION late last year at Sarm Studios in London with award-winning producers Steve Lipson and Trevor Horn. To create the album s diverse sound, Beck used a number of musicians, including appearances by frequent collaborators Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Jason Rebello (keyboards), and Tal Wilkenfeld (bass). The album also includes contributions from a trio of singers: Imelda May ('Lilac Wine'), Olivia Safe ('Elegy For Dunkirk'), and Grammy-winner Joss Stone ('I Put A Spell On You' and 'There s No Other Me').
To complement the innovative tones he coaxes from his guitar, Beck recorded with a 64-piece orchestra on songs that range from Puccini s immortal aria 'Nessun Dorma' and Elegy For Dunkirk from the film Atonement to 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' from The Wizard Of Oz and Jeff Buckley s interpretation of 'Corpus Christi Carol.'
Beck says the idea of pairing his guitar with an orchestra evolved from the version of Gustav Mahler s Symphony No. 5 he recorded a few years ago. 'It turned out amazingly well, but I didn t want to commit to an entire album of classical music. What appealed to me instead was the idea of bringing together these seemingly contradictory sounds on different kinds of nonclassical music.'
In addition to the orchestral pieces, EMOTION & COMMOTION showcases a number of original compositions. For 'Hammerhead,' Beck fires the rocker s opening salvo through his wah-wah pedal before falling into a deep groove carved out by the rhythm section and horn arrangement. At the opposite end of the sonic spectrum, the airy arrangement that elevates 'Never Alone' provides a wide-angle soundscape for Beck s imagination to freely explore the high-flying melody.
Before launching a world tour to support EMOTION & COMMOTION, Beck will unite with Eric Clapton in February for a series of exclusive shows in London, New York City, Toronto, and Montreal. The guitarists both former members of the Yardbirds will play separately before taking the stage to perform together.
After the shows with Clapton, Beck will play South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan before returning to America for the U.S. leg of the tour starting mid-April and including an appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival on May 1.
For Beck, the new album and tour follows in the wake of a triumphant 2009 his most successful year ever. Among the many highlights were a sold-out world tour; his second induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the release of the platinum-selling Performing This Week... Live At Ronnie Scott s, which earned a Grammy nomination for 'A Day In The Life'; and magnificent performances with his band at the 25th Anniversary Concert of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 5.55 x 5 x 0.39 inches; 3.74 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Atlantic Rhino
- Item model number : 8395767
- Date First Available : January 14, 2010
- Label : Atlantic Rhino
- ASIN : B003405MF6
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,077 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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In this CD, the even-numbered songs provide particularly good displays of that skill. Over the Rainbow, Elegy for Dunkirk, Serene and the amazing Nessum Dorma, the last of which made everyone's jaws drop in the live shows he gave earlier in the year, are all strong achievements in this vein. Hammerhead combines that lyrical touch with some pounding rock-band-and-orchestra riffs that also make for a very strong track.
Of the odd-numbered songs, Corpus Christi and Lilac Wine share the lyrical style and are worth listening to. There is little to complain or praise about Never Alone; it was just a little bland. The two Joss Stone songs also came off as ordinary. With only ten songs on a CD of only 40 minutes, I felt that there should be no blandness or ordinariness, especially given that Jeff's penchant for covers gives him a very large amount of potential material to work with. For that reason I limit my rating for the whole CD to 4 stars.
I do own the majority material of his albums, to show how much of a fan I am, and this is his best album since "Wired". I also understand that the market for Mr Beck and his albums is slim and there will be a lot of people that will get bored and goes what the point. What It all about your taste and what you are looking for.
Then I heard "Jeff" in a record store when it was released, not recognizing the sound or style and asked the kid who this was. It just got better and better as it went on. It started with motorcycles and biker chicks and by the end there was a orchestra of strings. I think that's what kept me in the store so long. "Figures" I thought, a little disappointed that I would be buying an artist from the 70's once again, instead of quenching my thirst for new blood. I loved the album, though. It covered a lot of ground, made sounds I'd never heard come out of a guitar. It showed an artist in touch with his past, but not dwelling on it. In retrospect this album seems a bridge to "Emotion and Commotion". I love that Beck has evolved, and not fallen into the "you name the state State Fair Circuit" like most of the bands from the seventies that still turn up somewhere on the 4th of July playing the same old stuff.
This new record is priceless. Not much new song-writing here, rather thoughtful, skillful (crazy skillful) emotive guitar you won't hear anywhere else on obscure and familiar work of other artists. Actually, the "Commotion" on this record stands out less than the "Emotion". The bookend songs are so exquisite they make me weepy (the older softer badboy). I only wish it were 140 minutes.
thinking 'Live at Ronnie Scott's dvd which does wow you.as a life long fan this is a must have if you liked what he did with a day in the life on Scott's disc
Top reviews from other countries
The music is diverse and well recorded and the appearance of Imelda May, Joss Stone and Olivia Safe are icing on a very nice cake!
Stand out tracks? I enjoyed them all, not a duff track, every one pure gold, but I would take Imelda's version of Lilac Wine and Elegy for Dunkirk to my desert island. If you like music, you will appreciate this, buy it and enjoy it, albums like this come along all too infrequently these days.
P.S. It does make me wonder all the more what the unreleased album he made with Steve Lukather and Tony Hymas was like. The album got shelved, but if it was even half as good as this, it'd be worth releasing.
Then theres the Joss Stone and Imelda May tracks along with track two Hammerhead to add a bit of grit and variety. It now just needs someone to have a word in Jeffs "shell-like" to tell him cds last longer than vinyl, so forty minute albums are very mean these days.