Jennifer Batten

Whatever

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While she's best known for her stints alongside pop and rock giants -- namely Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck -- six-string shredder Jennifer Batten has issued sporadic solo releases along the way, such as 2008's Whatever. And it turns out that it was her work with the latter notable gentleman that has considerably rubbed off on her musically, as Whatever sounds like a direct descendent of such latter day electro-rock Beck releases as 1999's Who Else! and 2001's You Had It Coming. And perhaps this shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as it was precisely these two Beck studio efforts that Batten played on (and even lent a hand in songwriting, as evidenced by the album opener for You Had It Coming, "Earthquake"). Beck-like guitar phrasing is certainly apparent throughout (especially on such ditties as "Ass Whoopin" and "Off the Deep End"), with a few curveballs along the way, including a pair of tracks that sound comparable to Laurie Anderson's early-'80s work ("Cupid's Arrow" and "Inner Journey").

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