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Jeff Beck: Live+

Album Notes

The "+" in the title of Live+ refers to the two studio recordings tacked onto the end of this 2015 live set: a tense, cloistered original called "Tribal," where Jeff Beck spits out squalls of noise over thundering primal drums; and a cover of "My Tiled White Floor," a wash of electronic soul with vocals by Veronica Bellino that feels constructed out of faded memories of Prince. They're nice additions that wouldn't have quite suited 2010's Emotion & Commotion, nor do they quite feel of a piece with the rest of Live+, all recorded on tour in August 2014. Supported by a collection of tight pros -- bassist Rhonda Smith, drummer Jonathan Joseph, guitarist Nicolas Meier, and vocalist Jimmy Hall -- Beck isn't so much interested in resurrecting specific songs from his career as he is in revisiting particular styles and moods, waxing lyrical on "A Change Is Gonna Come" and "Danny Boy," venturing into thick sheets of distortion on "Big Block," transforming the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" into instrumental fusion, and ending with a set of hard blues. It's diverse but not showy: always a wildly flashy guitarist, Beck's flights feel lyrical, not indulgent, which underscores the sense that he used this 2014 tour as an excuse to just get out and play some guitar. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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