Loud Hailer Review

artist: Jeff Beck date: 08/29/2016 category: compact discs
Jeff Beck: Loud Hailer
Released: Jul 15, 2016
Genre: Blues Rock, Soul, Hard Rock
Label: ATCO
Number Of Tracks: 11
Jeff Beck bends his way through blues, soul and hard rock with his eleventh display of guitar prowess in "Loud Hailer."
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 6
 Overall Impression: 6
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overall: 6.3
Loud Hailer Featured review by: UG Team, on august 29, 2016
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Jeff Beck is one of the definitive names in rock guitar, even while the rock and roll genre isn't his only creative medium. You wouldn't immediately associate Beck as a jazz fusion or electronica player, nor would the mention of his name conjure his previous collaborations with anyone from Tina Turner to Cyndi Lauper and Roger Waters, however Beck has always been one to dabble wherever his musical interests are at the time of recording. With his eleventh studio album "Loud Hailer," Beck dishes out a hefty assortment of blues, soul and hard rock throughout eleven tracks, yet he isn't alone on the six strings throughout. One of the most standout features about this new Jeff Beck album is the appearance of Carmen Vandenberg (unknown whether there's a relation to Whitesnake great Adrian Vandenberg, probably worth looking into), who acts as co-guitarist on the entire record and certainly holds her own. The album opens up with "The Revolution Will Be Televised," and if there was ever a song title that made you want to listen to the new Jeff Beck record it's this one. It doesn't disappoint, either; "The Revolution Will Be Televised" has this heavy attitude with manic bends and soulful leads atop a grooving bass line and the angstful vocals of Rosie Bones, who serves the role of lead vocalist throughout "Loud Hailer."

What's particularly interesting about "Loud Hailer" is that while it's through and through a Jeff Beck record, it's also very modern rock sounding and could even gain some regular airplay with some of these tracks. "Live in the Dark" and "Right Now" are strong examples of this same sound; there's an emphasis on melody and the guitars are vicious, brooding even. The paces drags along with fierce percussion work courtesy of Davide Sollazzi, who breaks out on the two minute long dubstep-esque "Pull It." The regular flow of the record hits an unexpected turn on "Scared for the Children," which is undeniably Pink Floyd inspired and is even wrapped up with a solo that conjures up references to that of Gilmour's own playing. "Shame" changes up the feel of the album even more by resurrecting the sound of the female vocal groups of the 1960s, before "Loud Hailer" heads back to a heavy blues sound with the humorously titled "The Ballad of the Housewives." Just when it seems the album is going to round itself out, another left turn is thrown in for good measure with the funk bass lines of "O.I.L. (Can't Get Enough of That Sticky)" and the melancholic ballad "Shrine." There's more than a few worthwhile tracks throughout "Loud Hailer" to make it worth picking up to guitar advocates, however the moments where the album really set a hard groove just overshadow the more experimental tracks and leaves you really wishing that Beck has just stuck to his strengths with this lineup and delivered one consistent release. // 7

Lyrics: Rosie Bones certainly has a solid vocal range and really sets her emotions out on the recordings here. "Loud Hailer" benefits from her versatility and power behind the mic, which compliments the consistently alternating interests of Jeff Beck on these eleven songs. Songs such as the previously noted "The Revolution Will Be Televised" and "Live in the Dark" are propelled by her performance, whereas on later numbers ala "Shame" the vocals get caught among the rest of the easy listening atmosphere and don't make such an impression. Then you have songs like "Scared for the Children," where Bones' vocals are top notch but just don't seem to sit well among the rest of the composition. Again, this seems more due to the revolving interests of Beck, all of which are channeled well throughout "Loud Hailer," but a more well rounded album would have done more to showcase the talents of everyone throughout. // 6

Overall Impression: Modern hard rock clashes with '60s style soul and modern electronica on Jeff Beck's eleventh solo record "Loud Hailer." The emphasis seems to be placed on variety over cohesion here, which is a shame because the album's highlights are incredibly bright and deserve several replays soon after. Considering this is the first album to feature the current Jeff Beck Band, hopefully more time out on the road will allow for the chemistry to keep brewing and result in an even stronger follow-up; the potential is certainly here for a great album, instead what we're left with is an album with some great moments. // 6

- Lou Vickers (c) 2016

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