NPR logo First Listen: Jeff Beck, 'Emotion And Commotion'

First Listen: Jeff Beck, 'Emotion And Commotion'

Audio for this feature is no longer available. The album was released on April 13, 2010.

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Ross Halfin

Jeff Beck

Ross Halfin

You know those extreme sport hot-dog skiers? Those daredevils who seem to defy the laws of gravity with artful leaps and in- flight fanciful twists delivered with a sly swagger?

That's who Jeff Beck reminds me of.

He's a musician's musician. A guitarist who wows other guitarists with a one-of-a-kind technique that tests the physical limits of the instrument.

Since his days in The Yardbirds as part of the British invasion of the 1960s, Beck has picked and plucked and whammy bar'd his way to true Guitar Hero status (and not the video game kind).

His new album, Emotion and Commotion — available here in its entirety until its release on April 13 — is a collection of songs that suit his adventurous style, with some cushioned by a symphony orchestra and another featuring the young soul singer Joss Stone.

Albums and tours in the U.S. from the veteran rocker are rare enough to cause a stir — and with good reason. Riding the musical slopes with Jeff Beck is as exhilarating and fun as facing down a wild ride from the top of a snow-covered summit with someone who knows just how far to push things. Please leave your thoughts on the new album in the comments section below.