Customer Review

81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Defiantly pipe and slippers material, 28 Sep 2010
This review is from: Clapton (Audio CD)
Why does he keep doing this? Eric Clapton remains among the best guitar players on the planet when he wants to be, but he's also among the laziest. This album is a well-made collection of largely old standards. Nothing wrong with that, but there's no attempt here by Clapton to put his own stamp on them or create something of interest by actually using his guitar. And I don't just mean endless solos Santana-style, but rather using the guitar to arrange an original or diverting take on it all, turn the listener's head once in a while. He just kinda runs through each song, I suspect more or less as it is on the original 78. All the effort seems to have gone into the horn (and trumpet!) arrangements. It's frustrating that live, these songs will probably inspire a lot of fiery playing. It also seems to me that his voice - for long one of the strongest and most under-rated in rock - isn't quite what it was in places. I love the guy, and I'll always buy what he puts out, but it's increasingly disappointing that his albums these days are so deliberately and defiantly pipe and slippers. Get his recent live CD/DVD with Steve Winwood if you want to find out what he can sound like when he has to make an effort.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Sep 2010 19:44:54 BDT
N. Allen says:
I quite like your constructive honesty, but I have to disagree. This album is very good, and feels like a polished version of 70s style music he's done before. Almost as if he's gone the production way of B.B.King, which isn't something his albums normally sound like. The Clapton/Winwood album/DVD is definitely well worth a purchase, but I feel you need to appreciate these two things in almost entirely different ways.

Anyway, it's nice to see a constructive dislike of an Eric Clapton album for a change, I was starting to think there were only people that rant left out there! Oh, one other thing, I missed the opportunity to buy the limited edition album, but the official site lists Amazon as a stockist of this album that has extras with it, but I can't see anything here? Is it now the case that a UK born artist is now only doing offers in the US? On a slight tangent, I really REALLY wish he would do a Crossroads style tour in the UK. I would kill to see the line-up that show had, but getting there was impossible for me :(

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Oct 2010 21:18:50 BDT
street-legal says:
I know exactly what you mean, I'm a big Clapton fan and actually love his seventies stuff. The album 'Back Home' though, completely alienated me. I still don't think I've ever got through it once without getting pissed off! If this is some kind of similarity, I can't believe I'm saying this, I might have to give it a miss......

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2010 09:55:46 BDT
A. D. Crofts says:
People rant on the internet?!

Agreed, this album is well-made, and a decent listen within its own terms of reference. It depends whether you regard the guy as a guitar player or not. A lot of the guitar on here isn't Eric, and when it is, it's the sort of thing he can do in his sleep. What frustrates me is the difference in his approach to his live work. His autobiography makes the admission that his whole career went wrong (I paraphrase) in about 1969/70. And since 2005 or so his live shows have gone back to re-explore much of that period very thoroughly. So I was kinda hoping he might take some of that approach into the studio, that's all. I just think all this Desmond Carrington noodling about is a waste of a considerable talent. The last studio record he pulled his finger out on was Pilgrim, and that suffered from a grim and unsympathetic production.

Posted on 10 Oct 2010 10:37:59 BDT
Perhaps when he looks out from the stage at the Albert Hall he sees his market - pipes and slipper - or at least the 60-somethings like him. I doubt he's lazy - probably comfortable in who he is, how old he is, and who's listening. He still fills theatres, still sells lots of albums and the back catalogue, and that's a whole lot more than many other players of the 60's, so I think he prabably has the balance about right. But, he's a West London contemporary from my own blues and rock times, so I'm looking at this as a 63 year old player; that might just be bending my objectivity.

Posted on 13 Oct 2010 13:52:21 BDT
D. T. Walsh says:
I agree with your review completely!!!

I was just about to post the same review, but you have taken the words out-of-my-mouth. This month's UNCUT magazine has an interview with EC about this latest offering. Indeed, he does come across in the interview as taking the easy way out, by not pushing himself (Lazy as you say) and after listening to this album it is very apparent that he is yet again going through the motions. I also have all EC's album's (spanning from the Yardbirds to his experimental album "T.D.F Retail Therapy") over the past number of years they are simply drab and boring.......... as you say "pipe and slippers". On a plus note, at least its not as embarrassingly bad as 2005's "Back Home"!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Dec 2010 17:36:21 GMT
Ramses says:
AMazing, same feeling for me. This 'back home' is an impossible aberration, I can'tlisten to it in one stretch. After the Johnson stuff he did, that was a shame.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2010 22:37:47 GMT
street-legal says:
Thank you Ramses.....listening to that first song on Back Home about not being arsed to change a nappy was pretty bad stuff. The big horror for me was the liner notes where he espouses the virtues of making music that is 'safe to listen to'!!!!!!. Eric is a wonderful guitarist and a tremendously soulful singer, I just wish he'd 'ooomph' it up a bit in the studio. The last song he did I loved was River of Tears, but the production was awful. Drum machine, wobbly keyboards....

Posted on 10 Sep 2011 08:19:46 BDT
I was about to write my own review of this album but AD Crofts review above pretty much summarises what I was going to write. There is nothing that offends on this album and it can quite happily bubble away in the background and once you've finished listening to it nothing sticks out. A bunch of (very talented) mates running through some blues standards with out really trying.

Come on Eric you can do better, in fact you did recently on the recent live album with Steve Winwood Live from Madison...
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