Well, it looks like Jeff Beck is not slowing down anytime soon. The veteran rock guitar player just released a new single and will be putting out a new album in July. Titled, “Live in the Dark,” the song will appear on Beck’s new album, Loud Hailer. Now, I am a fan of Jeff Beck and own a few of his albums with two of those being, “Truth” and “Blow by Blow,” both of which I own on vinyl. He is definitely one of my favorite guitar players and sometimes I feel he is not given enough recognition for his innovative playing. His work with Rod Stewart on those first two Jeff Beck Group releases is simply brilliant. Unfortunately, his new material is far from those classic and iconic recordings.
When someone told me Jeff Beck had a new single out, I was very eager to hear it. I guess Jeff is teaming up with singer Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg on this album, and this would be my first time hearing these ladies as I was not familiar with their backgrounds. Also, after reading some more information about the album, the lyrics deal with modern day issues that Jeff wants to express and that can definitely be hear on this single. However, I honestly believe Jeff’s new work is a drastic departure from the musical style that I personally enjoy. Although this new song features some clever blues licks with Jeff’s unique distorted flair, I felt like the lyrics were very simplistic and dual. Also, the singer failed to inject any emotion into the song and I personally felt like the recording of her vocals could have been a reason as to why the song sounded so lack luster. The verse sections were definitely the low points of the song, while the guitar breaks at least delivered some solid guitar riffs and fills.
Jeff has every right to write to work with different people and write new music that deals with more world related issues. In my opinion though, I think he should stick to what he does best which is offering up amazing instrumental guitar pieces that sound exciting, or at least engaging. Maybe he should focus more on instrumental songs. This monotonous indie blues rock inspired material is not something I would expect from such an iconic player. Then again, Jeff has always evolved over the years and take for example some of his eighties albums with all the keyboards and synths that are very different from the early Jeff Beck Group releases. I just find the new direction to not fit my musical taste, so I will just stick to playing my copy of, “Truth,” and most likely pass on the new album.
Link to "Live in the Dark":