Clapton might have achieved the honorific title of God, but will Clapton’s new self-titled album live up to it? Or will it fade into obscurity like other singers from his generation such as Rod Stewart?
‘Clapton’ is a rather unlikely mix of old blues, original modern songs and standards that has come from the 1930s and 40s. The 14-track record includes a relaxed cover of Hoagy Carmichael’s ‘Rocky Chair’ and a lavish treatment of Johnny Mercer’s ‘Autumn Leaves’ and Irving Berlin’s ‘How Deep is the Ocean’.
Ones which standout pretty well are ‘My Very Good Friend the Milkman’, a comedic song, and ‘When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful’ which is performed alongside Allen Toussaint, Wynton Marsalis, and members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Other mentionable tunes: a decent cover of Robert Wilkins’ song ‘That’s No Way to Get Along’ and a track which deserves to be placed on loop is the album’s fantastic opener, ‘Travelin’ Alone’, performed alongside Lil’ Son Jackson.
However, one of the main attributes that Clapton is well known and celebrated for – the huge amount of guitar grandstanding – is noticably lacking in this album. Old fans may miss it if they have heard classics like ‘Layla’.
Nevertheless, this album is a grower and Clapton’s music does show him rather close to his best. Overall, it’s a decent album, as he stuck to his class roots. Although not a classic perhaps, it still deserves to be on your shelf.