Jeff Beck - "Live in the Dark" (Singles Going Steady)

Jeff Beck is still kicking ass at the age of 72.

Pryor Stroud: Fearless, corrosive, and smoking with Jeff Beck's singularly expressive flamethrower-riffs, "Live In The Dark" is taken from the guitar icon's LP Loud Hailer, his first in six years. The track conscripts vocalist Rosie Bones for its lyric, but, throughout, she seems to be grappling head-to-head with the wild electricity of Beck's guitar. The tension this creates is a spectacle to behold: here, there is not one singer but two, a singer of flesh and blood and a singer of crackling feedback-figures. It may not be sonically inventive or lyrically deft, but its unadulterated, pyrokinetic take on rock is refreshing in a time when genre-bending has become something of a prerequisite for new artists. [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: On the occasion that Jeff Beck includes vocals on any of his albums, he rarely sings himself, employing anyone from Rod Stewart to Imogean Heap to tackle the singing. And that's OK -- every album he makes, no matter how good or how uneven, helps reinforce his status as one of rock's greatest guitarists. His latest album, Loud Hailer, continues in this same vein, collaborating with vocalist Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg. "Live in the Dark" is one of those songs where Beck attempts to distance himself from "guitar nerd" status and make something a bit more contemporary, accessible, and -- dare I say it -- youthful. It's a solid, funky rocker, and Bones' smoky voice blends perfectly with Beck's expert guitar pyrotechnics. The vocals ground the song and do a great job of reining in Beck while still allowing him to soar on the fretboard. An excellent meshing of styles, and a confirmation -- if you really needed one -- that Beck is still kicking ass at the age of 72. [8/10]

Steve Horowitz: Jeff can still play the guitar well, but why does he add the vocals? They are not so bad as they are unnecessary. That said, the guitar here may be adeptly slashed, but more is needed. [4/10]

SCORE: 6.33





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