Eric Clapton’s new album dropped today — simply titled, “Clapton” — and this is his first album of new songs in over four years and, unfortunately, the record is ashamedly weak and painfully forlorn. See Clapton dully staring back at you from the album cover below? That’s perfectly encapsulates the listening experience of the music. He. Blankly. Stares. At. You. With. A. Dour. Face.
We are crazy about Clapton here on Boles Blues, so don’t think we weren’t rooting for the guy to do well. We were cheering Eric on from our iTunes Pre-Order queue for a week! We were just as disappointed — as will you be — in this new effort.
So many of the songs are banal. There is no energy. Most of the songs sound the same.
Three songs that slightly rise above mediocre are “Can’t Hold Out Much Longer” — a semi-Bluesy tune that could use just a tad bit more energy and speed; and “Diamonds Made from Rain” — a touching yearning for a return to human frailty; and “When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful” is a bizarre New Orleans Jazz piece that bites you with fun, but feels completely out of whack with the rest of the tone of the album.
What’s missing here is Clapton!
Eric! Where are you?
We want to hear his blistering electric guitar or at least some dedicated acoustic plucking. We enjoy Eric’s voice, but his moneymaker that needs to be “shook” is his Blues-infused guitar skills. Where is our beloved “Slowhand?”
To assuage the naysayers who might accuse me of reviewing “Clapton” without buying it — here’s my proof of purchase. Thank you, iTunes Ping!
We love Eric Clapton. We need more from Eric Clapton. We love the great guitar riffs. We need the pristine melody so we can sing along. We demand another, all-new — but Bluesier — Clapton album right now! We’ll wait here, holding thumbs, as we continue to check our Pre-Order queue all over again and again and again…