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ERIC CLAPTON

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REPRISE

After scratching his blues itch with Me and Mister Johnson (Reprise), Claptonís back in his pop bag. The title has some resonance, since "So Tired" and other tunes celebrate the everyday joys of parenting and family. Thatís no small matter to Clapton, an orphan whoís longed for a stable home for much of his life. Guitar playing takes a back seat to songwriting, though strains of blues, R&B, rock, and reggae run deep throughout the dozen numbers. The best track is "Love Donít Love Nobody," with high-powered vocal testifying and a chorus that re-creates the classic sound of Ď70s Philly soul. (It was first cut by the Spinners, but think Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.) It also has the albumís finest guitar solo ó an arching crescendo that symbolizes the sense of joy and liberation true love provides. The single "Revolution" hits a convincing Jamaican groove, the call-and-response between EC and his female choir showing the influence of Bob Marley and his I-Threes. The title track swaddles vague but autobiographical lyrics of loss and ultimate salvation in acoustic guitar and organ. When Clapton sings "I know that I am loved" in its chorus, he sounds as if he really believed it.

BY TED DROZDOWSKI


Issue Date: September 23 - 29, 2005
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