Jeff Beck’s career started many decades ago at the time of the British Invasion in the 1960’s. He was a member of The Yardbirds back then, making waves in the music world with his inspired guitar playing. In Beck’s latest release Loud Hailer, he remains ever as relevant an artist today as he was back then.
Beck had this to say about his latest artistic output, “I really wanted to make a statement about some of the nasty things I see going on in the world today, and I loved the idea of being at a rally and using this loud device to shout my point of view.” To realise this vision, Beck involved Rosie Bones (singer) and Carmen Vandenberg (rhythm guitar) in the project after the three of them had a chance meeting at the birthday party of Roger Taylor, drummer of the iconic band Queen. Beck’s fellow producer for the album, Filippo Cimatti, later recruited the talents of David Sollazzi (drums) and Giovanni Pallotti (bass).
When listening through the album Loud Hailer, I was struck by Beck’s stylistic versatility and ingenuity in each of the tracks; no two guitar solos are wholly alike. There are no cutting corners or recycling material for Beck. Each song’s integrity is maintained in their own nuances, timbres and melodies. His dexterity shines through in his articulated playing and his solos are well thought through. Beck has a deep understanding of what makes the best sense musically; you don’t feel lost for a moment when listening to his engaging playing.
The opening track, The Revolution Will Be Televised, will grab you attention, first in the momentum of the rhythm section, Beck’s gritty blues riffs, and then Bone’s lyrics which sound like something that should be shouted out through a megaphone. Live In the Dark is the first single off Loud Hailer and it gives you what you want to hear from rock. Pull It’s opening stood out to me because it sounds like something you would hear on a track by the electronic music group Prodigy; but Beck, being one of the first guitarists to experiment with distortion and other effect, has obviously continued and extended the trend here. Beck shows his softer side in tracks such as Scared For the Children and Shame (which even has a bit of a ‘doo-wop’ group influence). There is something for everyone in Loud Hailer.
As a collection of songs and instrumentals Loud Hailer is cohesive and authentic in its commentary and purpose. It is an outstanding album and we wouldn’t expect anything less from the two-time Rock ‘n Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, Jeff Beck.