4.6 5
by Jeff Beck

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You've got to give him credit: Jeff Beck, guitar deity of the 1960s, has kept up with the times. Jeff builds on the musical trend that began with Beck's 1999 album Who Else! and continued with 2001's You Had It Coming: surrounding the hotshot picker with a techno-rock wall-of-sound thatSee more details below


You've got to give him credit: Jeff Beck, guitar deity of the 1960s, has kept up with the times. Jeff builds on the musical trend that began with Beck's 1999 album Who Else! and continued with 2001's You Had It Coming: surrounding the hotshot picker with a techno-rock wall-of-sound that is less about band chemistry than the interaction of Beck and his producers. That the guitarist remains the center of attention is a testament to his still-fecund creativity and sheer technical flash. (The fact that vocals are incidental at best also keeps the spotlight firmly on the man of the hour.) Beck was always a daring player, and such tracks as "Grease Monkey," "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and "Plan B" burst with careening lines and the kind of on-the-edge fretwork that has characterized his playing since his days with the Yardbirds in the mid-1960s. But the tender side of this six-string stinger is also on display on the more contemplative "Bulgaria" and "Why Lord Oh Why." Contemporary studio wizardry may have changed the context of Beck's work, but this new sonic atmosphere has inspired this evolving rock icon.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
"If the voice don't say it, the guitar will play it," raps Saffron on "Pork-U-Pine," the third track on Jeff Beck's minimally titled Jeff. And he does. Beck teams with producer Andy Wright, the man responsible for his more complete immersion into electronic backdrops on his last outing, You Had It Coming. This time the transition is complete. Beck used electronica first on Who Else!, moved a little more into the fire on You Had It Coming, and here merges his full-on Beck-Ola guitar heaviness with the sounds of contemporary spazz-out big beats and noise. Beck and Wright employ Apollo 440 on "Grease Monkey" and "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and use a number of vocalists, including the wondrously gifted Nancy Sorrell, on a host of tracks, as well as the London Session Orchestra on others (such as "Seasons," where hip-hop, breakbeats, and old-school Tangerine Dream sequencing meet the guitarist's deep blues and funk-drenched guitar stylings). As for atmospherics, David Torn (aka producer Splattercell) offers a shape-shifting mix of glitch tracks on "Plan B" for Beck to wax on both acoustically and electrically, and make them weigh a ton. But it's on cuts like "Trouble Man," a purely instrumental big drum and guitar skronk workout, where Beck truly shines here. With a rhythm section of Dean Garcia and Steve Barney -- and Tony Hymas appears as well -- Beck goes completely overboard: the volume screams and the sheer crunch of his riffs and solos split the rhythm tracks in two, then four, and finally eight, as he turns single-string runs into commentaries on everything from heavy metal to East Indian classical music. The industrial crank and burn of "Grease Monkey" is an outing fraught with danger for the guitarist, who has to whirl away inside a maelstrom of deeply funky noise -- and Beck rides the top of the wave into dirty drum hell and comes out wailing. For those who feel they need a dose of Beck's rootsier and bluesier playing, there is one, but the context is mentally unglued. "Hot Rod Honeymoon" is a drum and bass sprint with Beck playing both slide and Texas-style blues à la Albert Collins, letting the strings bite into the beats. The vocals are a bit cheesy, but the entire track is so huge it's easy to overlook them. "Line Dancing With Monkeys" has a splintered Delta riff at its core, but it mutates, shifts, changes shape, and becomes the kind of spooky blues that cannot be made with conventional instruments. His turnarounds into the myopic rhythms provide a kind of menacing foil to their increasing insistence in the mix. Before gabber-style drum and bass threaten to break out of the box, Beck's elongated bent-note solos tame them. "JB's Blues" is the oddest thing here because it's so ordinary; it feels like it belongs on an updated Blow By Blow. In all this is some of the most emotionally charged and ferocious playing of Beck's career. Within the context of contemporary beatronica, Beck flourishes. He find a worthy opponent to tame in the machines, and his ever-present funkiness is allowed to express far more excess than restraint. This is as fine a modern guitar record as you are ever going to hear.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Sbme Special Mkts.


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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jeff Beck   Primary Artist
Saffron   Vocals
Apollo 440   Musician
Dean Garcia   Musician
Tony Hymas   Musician
London Session Orchestra   Musician
Andy Wright   Vocals
Beached Boys   Vocals
Ronni Ancona   Vocals
Steve Barney   Musician
Nancy Sorrell   Vocals
Baylen Leonard   Vocals

Technical Credits

Jeff Beck   Arranger,Composer,Producer
David Torn   Composer,Contributor
Apollo 440   Producer,Engineer
Ron Aslan   Composer
David Coleman   Art Direction
David Daoud Coleman   Art Direction
Dean Garcia   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Howard Gray   Composer
John Hudson   Engineer
Matthew Vaughan   Composer
Simon White   Composer
Trevor Gray   Composer
Andy Wright   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer
Ishmael Butler   Composer
Anthony Hymas   Composer
4:40   Producer,Engineer
Jamie Maher   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Dave Bloor   Engineer
Nancy Sorrell   Composer
Paul Holroyde   Composer
James Brown   Engineer
Wil Malone   Orchestral Arrangements

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