Release Date: Sep 28, 2010
Record label: Reprise
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock
Clapton is Eric Clapton’s first solo album in five years, but he hardly spent the back half of the 2000s in seclusion. After 2005’s Back Home, he went on a journey through the past, writing a 2007 autobiography -- also titled Clapton, although that’s the only connection they shared -- mending fences with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker for a brief Cream reunion, establishing a lasting connection with his old Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood, and recording a duet album with his ‘70s inspiration JJ Cale. This embrace of history isn’t directly heard on Clapton but it’s certainly felt, extending to how EC relies on old tunes -- blues and country, but also pop and R&B -- for the bulk of this 14-track album.
In some ways, Clapton provides the successful album that Eric Clapton seems to have been moving towards over the past decade. The album, a far cry from a guitar record, plays as mature and reflective, in the graceful sense of the terms. Clapton is searching through old sounds here, and you’ll catch plenty about his eclecticism in moving in the past, but it’s a coherent sound.
Eric Clapton, the guitarist formerly known as ”God,” seemingly can’t make an album without revisiting a few blues standbys and checking in with his muse JJ Cale. But Clapton, his latest trip into mellowness is sleepier than usual, as he dabbles in gospel, Dixieland, and even a little Irving Berlin. Tasteful guitar solos put the focus on his relaxed vocals, and he dons his Rod Stewart dinner jacket for ”Autumn Leaves.” Guess even God needs a nap once in a while.