Eric Clapton – Clapton (2010): Review

clapton

Produced by Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall II, Justin Stanley
Label – Duck/Reprise

At pensionable age (65) Eric Clapton doesn’t need to vie for popular affectation or chart exhilaration. He’s seen it, done it, and now could be considered a consummate statesman of his art form. His studied interpretation of standards from a bygone era, allied to his undeniable guitar skill, has made for some of the most momentous recordings in adult rock history. But when the sinewy musical edge that came with 70s debauchery and creativity in equal measure turns to a 2010 collection of flabby, flaccid relics which may seem coherent to Clapton’s long time fans, but will do absolutely nothing to encourage a new audience.

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Like his long time buddy Phil Collins who has recently trawled the 60s soul/pop scene for inspiration, the pair perform a thoroughly safe and relaxed collection that feels like a watered down version of what made them great. Just to emphasise the nadir, Clapton mixes blues workouts and ballads with ill advised Hoagy Carmichael and Irving Berlin croon tunes which neither enhance or supersede original performances by Sinatra, Fitzgerald or Holiday. When the artist sticks to the template that built his career, as on “Travelin’ Alone”, the Little Walter penned “Can’t Hold Out Much Longer”, and Robert Wilkins’ “That Ain’t No Way To Get Along” there’s still just enough remnants of the much heralded bluesman we all know he is. The ragtime sounds of “My Very Good Friend The Milkman” and “When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful”, both made famous by Fats Waller sound light hearted, well performed, but ultimately vapid and forgettable.

Finally, Eric is living up to his “Clapped-out” moniker.

5/10

Track Listing
1.”Travelin’ Alone” (Lil’ Son Jackson) – 3:56
2.”Rocking Chair” (Hoagy Carmichael) – 4:04
3.”River Runs Deep” (J.J. Cale) – 5:52
4.”Judgement Day” (Snooky Pryor) – 3:13
5.”How Deep Is the Ocean” (Irving Berlin) – 5:29
6.”My Very Good Friend the Milkman” (Lyrics: Johnny Burke, Music: Harold Spina) – 3:20
7.”Can’t Hold Out Much Longer” (Walter Jacobs) – 4:08
8.”That’s No Way to Get Along” (Robert Wilkins) – 6:07
9.”Everything Will Be Alright” (Cale) – 3:51
10.”Diamonds Made from Rain” (Doyle Bramhall II, Nikka Costa, Justin Stanley) – 4:22
11.”When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful” (Harry M. Woods) – 2:51
12.”Hard Times Blues” (Lane Hardin) – 3:45
13.”Run Back to Your Side” (Bramhall, Eric Clapton) – 5:17
14.”Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Johnny Mercer, Jacques Prévert) – 5:40

Autumn Leaves

Travelin’ Alone

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