Music Reviews

Jeff Beck



When is a Jeff Beck record not a Jeff Beck record?

When it’s a Frankenstein’s monster of Pro Tools gibberish, that’s when. In a blind test, you’d have to be a hardcore Beck fanatic to tell anything on this distorted techno bit of tripe was the handiwork of one of the few remaining guitar gods to stride the earth. This record was made, according to interviews, largely by producers creating loops in one location, and Beck jamming to them somewhere else. Then the button jockeys took those tapes back, dropped ‘em onto a hard drive and cut and pasted whatever fit.

Which, to be honest, is how Beck has worked for the last few records. But this time, it just ain’t happening. In fact, his guitar has mutated into sounding like a synth, digitized and formatted into just another sound effect. There’s not a melody to be found on this thing, and while that might be true of most techno, I doubt there’s a mass of folks screaming to hear funk guitar lines over drum machines. The only exception is “Seasons,” which starts off with some nice guitar lines over the London Session Orchestra, but then quickly reverts to drum machine hell. This is not a good Jeff Beck record. Hell, it might not even BE a Jeff Beck record.

Jeff Beck:

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