With a career spanning more than four decades, Eric Clapton is once again ready to leave a new imprint on the music world with this new collection. Somehow able to win over audiences of all ages, opening track ‘Call Me The Breeze’ is a hippy style number, catchy and a suitably great start.
With assistance from Tom Petty, the toe tappy musicianship continues with ‘Rock & Roll Friends’, a two and a half minute Status Quo-esque piece which runs straight into the utterly recognisable vocals of Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler on ‘Someday’. It’s a rather slow piece, but the vocal talent alone makes it hard to ignore.
Proving he can find talent from any era, Mr Clapton then calls on the services of John Mayer to perform ‘Lies’ though each track is sadly by this point starting to sound a little repetitive, so much so that ‘Sensitive Kind’ may be a track some listeners choose to skip over.
Fortunately, a pick me up comes in the form of’ Cajun Moon’ as Clapton takes over vocal responsibilities once again, although the lyrics aren’t the easiest to follow, though the return of John Mayer on follow up ‘Magnolia’ means the more upbeat moments of the record don’t last and instead are intermittent, as demonstrated through ‘I Got The Same Old Blues’, one of the best numbers available out of the 16 tracks on offer.
The title ‘Songbird’ might remind many of the Eva Cassidy song, but rest assured, this one is far less sombre, helped greatly by the vocals of Willie Nelson. It is left to ‘I’ll Be There’ to present the one strong, head nodding, dance style track and the upbeat tone alone makes it a complete stand out piece, although ‘Train To Nowhere’ comes a close second.
It is a shame therefore that the tone of the record then returns to its calmer, softer tones of earlier and although Willie Nelson’s vocals remain as good as ever on ‘Starbound’, the sharp guitars on ‘Don’t Wait’ are more than welcome.
In closing with ‘Crying Eyes’, Christine Lakeland sharing vocal duties, the album ends on a note completely suited to Clapton and simple musicianship, combined with the clear vocals and a beat that you can’t help but sway to, provides a fitting end.