‘Loud Hailer’ By Jeff Beck Album Review: An Invigorating Album With A Political Stance
Seventy-two-year-old guitar legend Jeff Beck released his first album in six years titled Loud Hailer. Taking a bold step away from its largely instrumental predecessor Emotion & Commotion, the recent release features Beck’s invigorating collaborators — vocalist Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg of the London group Bones, who bring a youthful and energetic vibe to a classic record.
‘Loud Hailer’ by Jeff Beck Album Review
Loud Hailer has no pretense of following in line with any contemporary genre be it rock, alternative or something else. Beck’s long-term experience with various genres shows through in the many layers of the album, which places equal importance on the vocals as it does the instrumental work. His approach to the guitar is classic in many ways with its predominant loud guitar rock, arena-ready sonic qualities, but that does not entail that it is outdated or uninteresting.
“Edna,” for example, is a slow and pensive minute-long guitar instrumental, which highlights the tensions of the record. “Scared For The Children” — one of the standout tracks on the album — also culminates in a powerful guitar solo. It feels at times almost like an overwhelming interjection and a reminder of who is the musical mastermind behind the carefully devised melodies, but it equally gives stage to the vocal components of the ballad.
Labeled a “statement” album, Loud Hailer makes some political and social pronouncements, starting with spoken-word opener “The Revolution Will Be Televised” and ending with the powerful plea for peace on “Shrine.” As another ballad, “Shrine” is an apt closer for this record, which is hardcore in sound and politics, but also allows room for meditation at quieter, more balladic moments.
Marking the 50-year anniversary of the start of his solo career, Loud Hailer is a roaring album that combines Beck’s influences and musical tendencies effortlessly. Regardless of his old-school approach, Beck remains fresh and exciting even to a young audience with the assistance of Bones members. Loud Hailer proves that the legendary guitarist is ever-growing as an artist.