Jeff Beck's output may charitably be described as sporadic -- the British guitarist readily admits he's spectacularly lazy when it comes to songwriting -- but he seems to be on something of a creative roll, which is excellent news all round, particularly since he shows no fear of bringing together his dynamic playing with contemporary technology.
You Had It Coming (out Tuesday), though fleeting at 36 minutes, packs knockout punches: stuttering drum loops and a shelf's-worth of weird sonics splattered around by programmer Aiden Love. Like Beck, he understands that no electric guitar, even one wrangled by an innovator, is an island. London vocalist Imogen Heap enlivens a tour through Rollin' And Tumblin', while Nadia finds Beck easing loose Indian swirls out of his Fender Strat. Cooler and gutsier than a guy on the cusp of 57 has any right to be.