4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Emotion & Commotion (Special Edition Digipak) (Audio CD)
Jeff's been my favourite electric guitarist since 'Over, Under, Sideways, Down'. Others have given a track by track commentary so I'll not.
In this album Jeff shows his sublime range of tones. His articulation, dynamics and pitch control are quite stunning. His ability to sound like a human voice, a cello, flute etc yet still sound like a guitar is spellbinding. With this choice of material and the use of a full orchestra there was a danger that it could sound schmaltzy but absolutely not a bit of it. I've never heard an electric guitar sound so well in an orchestral setting.
Jeff's regular collaborators: Vinnie, Jason and Tal, are as great as ever. Pete Murray's orchestral arrangements blend beautifully with the guitar. Of the singers, Joss Stone is good but tries too hard; Imelda May sounds fantastic well outside of her usual rockabilly genre (at which she is brilliant) singing Lilac Wine. Olivia Safe's operatic soprano is transcendent.
To pick out a few highlights: Chorpus Christi Carol is as wonderful in it's own way as Buckley's version; I imagine Benjamin Britten himself would have been pleased, the seamless interplay between Jeff and Olivia on Elegy for Dunkirk, Jeff sounding like a cello morphing into a strat on the same track, and I could hardly believe how good Nessun Dorma sounded.
This album is no ego trip. Jeff is playing music he clearly loves with humility and respect. His supreme musical ear and great skill makes it work. It is not edgy hard rock if that is what you want. It is beautiful and I love it.