A happy Eric is not Eric...
Albert G. Smith Jr. | Daytona Beach, Fl USA | 09/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am torn here. In the review I posted for the last Mark Knopfler CD, I defended the lower prominence of lead guitar, based on the fact that this is 20-something years later than "Sultans of Swing", and an artist grows, as they should.
I tried to apply this same standard to this Clapton album, but it just doesn't work for me. Knopfler might have cut back on the guitar gymnastics, but the tone and subject matter of the songs remain that same Knopfler that made me buy all of those albums. A happy Clapton is not Clapton. I'm glad his life is going well, but this also might prove that art comes from suffering.
I am not a casual fan. I have every Clapton release (some on old vinyl), and tracked every vintage of his career. I can throw an old disc on that I have heard a thousand times, and experience it like new every time. I'm afraid "Back Home" will soon be relegated to the back of my CD shelf next to the dusty Pilgrim and Reptile discs. Thanks for the decades of great music Eric, but it looks like the days of buying every new album sight unseen has reached the end.
I wanted to like this disc, I really did. 3 stars because this is technically a fine recording. The two missing stars are for the missing desire for me to listen to this disc after the first couple of tries."
Eric's Good Mood
James Arria | West Haven, CT USA | 09/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, I admit, I had some misgivings when I first heard some song samples from this album. I wondered, "where's the guitar?" and "Has Eric gone soft?" But after buying the album and listening to it more fully my answer would be definitely not!
Now I'll admit, it's not 'Layla' or '461' or 'From the Cradle'. But you know what? It isn't supposed to be!! Mr. Clapton is not an artist who rests on his laruels. I'm sick of reading negative reviews from people who expect him to do nothing but play recycled blues standards or solo until his fingers fall off.
This album has a warm, relaxed feeling to it. Some mistake this for being bland or lazy. I dispute this on several songs:
1) So Tired-a toe tapping humorous look at family life
2) Love Don't Love Nobody-his singing on this song is ridiculous-the Spinners would be proud
3) One Day-have you heard the solos on this?
4) Run Home To Me-a powerful moving performance
5) Lost and Found-for the people who need the bluesy/guitar fix, great riffs
6) I'm Going Left-again, very upbeat, I got this one stuck in my head
7) Revolution-great groove, EC knows his way around a raggae beat
Has everything EC has tried worked? No, but while the blues may be his base, he shows his versitility on this record. He isn't stuck to playing 'Crossroads' or 'Hoochie Coochie Man' 900 times.
Eric Clapton is one of music's greatest contributions. He continues to do what he feels, regardless of 'popular' opinion. Stop sometime and listen"
JGM | NC, USA | 08/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Clapton's return to the middle of the road finds that the road he remembers from his '80s career as a radio hitmaker has pretty much dissapeared. Sounding like a relic of the late-'80s (right down to the Steve Gadd drums and Steve Winwood-sounding lead synths), this is teflon music - so slick that it won't stick to anything, particularly your ears.
Something of a minor concept album, centered around the themes of family and, well, home, the disc does have moments when the production backs off and real feeling shines through, particularly in the acoustic title track and the bittersweet kids-grow-up ballad "Run Home to Me". There are also plenty of misses and a few real embarassments here - particularly the stilted faux reggae of "Revolution" -- this is the guy who hit with "I Shot the Sherriff"? -- and the tired call-and-response of "I'm Going Left".
Fans of Clapton the singer more than Clapton the player may want to give it a try, as he is in fine voice throughout, though his guitar playing is often subdued and noodly. Several tracks benefit greatly from the warm presence of Billy Preston's Hammond organ (in one of Preston's last studio credits)."