Review: Eric Clapton "Back Home"
Review of "Back Home"
Tony Edser, Editor - Where's Eric! Magazine & Website
When I interviewed Eric Clapton in April 2003, around the time he was starting work on this album, he remarked â€œI couldnâ€™t be happier really, Iâ€™ll see if I can try and make a happy album without it being yeuch!â€
He was referring, of course, to the contentment in his life brought about by having a settled marriage and children and his natural desire to write songs about the family.
Has he succeeded? Well, if youâ€™d asked me after one play through I would have said â€œOh my God, no!â€ Referring back to the notes I made as I listened to the album for the first time, I see comments like â€œpoppy, instantly catchyâ€, â€œfillerâ€, â€œIsley Brothers outtakeâ€ and even â€œEurovisionâ€ alongside the various track titles. Thankfully, with the benefit of repeated listening, and a period of two weeks in between where I left the album completely alone, I am pleased to say this album has grown on me considerably. In fact, Iâ€™m reminded of the lyrics to one of Ericâ€™s famous 70â€™s songs â€“ â€œLet it grow, let it grow, let it blossom, let it flowâ€. In other words, give it time and the true meaning and value of this album will manifest itself. The songs sit together well as a collection - the album doesnâ€™t have the disjointed feel of Reptile for example - there is plenty of tastefully understated guitar work and the production is superb; thereâ€™s often lots going on in the mix but it never sounds cluttered.
It shows Eric really is happy with his lot at the moment â€“ there isnâ€™t an out and out blues tune in sight! True, I could have done without some of the more mawkish lyrics (â€œMumâ€™s getting snappy coz Daddy wonâ€™t change no nappyâ€) and the baby crying on the opening track, So Tired, whilst even the choice of cover versions (Iâ€™m Going Left excluded) is, unusually for Eric, rather insipid. However, Iâ€™ve regularly found myself humming many of this albumâ€™s melodies, even subconsciously, and I just canâ€™t get the guitar solos to the outstanding track, One Day, out of my head â€“ theyâ€™re just so so tasty.
Think about some of Ericâ€™s recent work â€“ touring the world in 2004 where he and his red-hot band were rocking and rolling like teenagers every night, the Me and Mr Johnson recordings with their intense, fiery blues passion and lastly 4 nights of unparalleled supergroupdom with Cream and you can understand the pleasure for Eric in just coming â€œBack Homeâ€.