Rock Doctor Reviews – LOUD HAILER Jeff Beck (Rhino/ Atco)

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While I consider myself something of a fan, you couldn’t say that I’m a slavish Jeff Beck worshipper. Loud Hailer is Jeff’s first album since 2010’s magnificent Emotion & Commotion, and there’s just no other way to say it- LH is spectacular.Loud Hailer is a collaboration with singer Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg, whom Jeff met at Queen drummer Roger Taylor’s birthday party last year, and it’s a straight reaction to the strange and violent times we live in- maybe working with Roger Waters in the past has rubbed off on Jeff.  “I really wanted make a statement about some of the nasty things I see going on in the world today” he says, “and I loved the idea of using this loud device to shout my point of view.”  Of his collaborators, he says “When we got together in January, I explained the subject matter I had in mind, we sat down by the fire with a crate of Prosecco and got right to it. The songs came together very quickly; five in three days.”Loud Hailer is certainly an apt title for the album; it’s loud, brash, angry and, at times, extremely heavy.  It isn’t full throttle all the way, though- Shame is a do-wop ballad, and the album closer Shrine is quite tranquil… perhaps offering a glimmer of hope that we will yet figure things out, even here at the 11th hour as the world teeters on the edge of total madness.  The disc is produced by Jeff and Filippo Cimatti, who works with Rosie and Carmen.  Bones is a powerful, emotional vocalist, just right for these songs, effortlessly weaving hip-hop elements into the fabric on occasion.  Other musicians added to the mix by Cimatti include drummer Davide Sollazzi and bassist Giovanni Pallotti, and together these five make an extremely powerful yet nuanced noise.There are people that will jump on Loud Hailer (if they haven’t already) merely because it’s the latest release from the guitar hero’s guitar hero, which is how it goes I suppose- but do yourself a favour and dig deep on this one, past Jeff’s unusual technique and into everything else the songs have to say.  Simply put this is a great album, and I expect you’ll see it at the top of many critic’s and fan’s top ten lists at the end of 2016.  VERY powerful stuff.ESSENTIALS:  The Revolution Will Be Televised, Thugs Club, Scared For The Children

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