First Appeared in The Music Box, August 1998, Volume 5, #8
Written by John Metzger
This is without a doubt, the best collection of new material that Eric Clapton has produced in quite awhile. It does for R&B what his albums in the '70s did for country-rock, essentially by capturing the genre's feel while adding a sound that can only come from Eric Clapton. Fall Like Rain sounds a little out of place on this disc, but it's a great song none-the-less. In fact, it harkens back to those Clapton's work in the '70s. Throughout Pilgrim, Clapton's singing is soulful and emotional, with a blues-infused power that seemed to be lacking on, of all things, his blues album From the Cradle. In addition, his guitar sings beautifully underneath each of the tracks, most notably on My Father's Eyes, Pilgrim, and Circus. River of Tears is a deeply layered brew of emotion, with a soothing, calming wave of synthesizers and guitar, and Needs His Woman is simply sweet and beautiful as Clapton's voice perfectly compliments the sound of his acoustic guitar. One Chance and Sick & Tired are quite the opposite as Clapton attacks each vocal line with vengeance. His guitar solos are searing as they glide over the electrical pulses of Pino Palladino's bass, and the songs bubble with anger and frustration. Clapton has continually changed his sound and style from album to album. This time out, it all seems to have come together for him, and this is, without a doubt, his best album in a long, long time. ½
Of Further Interest...
Pilgrim is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1998 The Music Box