Eric Clapton, "Clapton"

Album Review
3.5
<p>Consider <a href="/artist/eric-clapton/50403">Eric Clapton</a>'s 19th solo album a largely successful bid to be all things to all people, including himself. The broadly eclectic, guest-filled "Clapton"-his first studio outing since 2006's Grammy Award-winning "The Road to Escondido" collaboration with <a href="/artist/j-j-cale/4220">J.J. Cale</a>-stretches from a hip-swiveling blues-rock original ("Run Back to Your Side") to rural gospel-blues ("Judgment Day"). The 14-song set also includes a relaxed rendition of <a href="/artist/hoagy-carmichael/4240">Hoagy Carmichael</a>'s "Rocking Chair" and lush treatments of <a href="/artist/johnny-mercer/86601">Johnny Mercer</a>'s "Autumn Leaves" and <a href="/artist/irving-berlin/3565">Irving Berlin</a>'s "How Deep Is the Ocean." Standouts are the <a href="/artist/fats-waller/7546">Fats Waller</a> tunes "My Very Good Friend the Milkman" and "When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful," performed here with <a href="/artist/allen-toussaint/110692">Allen Toussaint</a>, <a href="/artist/wynton-marsalis/83795">Wynton Marsalis</a> and members of the <a href="/artist/preservation-hall-jazz-band/7244">Preservation Hall Jazz Band</a>. And other noteworthy tracks include the New Orleans-flavored version of <a href="/artist/robert-wilkins/28651">Robert Wilkins</a>' "That's No Way to Get Along" and the loping treatment of <a href="/artist/melvin-lil-son-jackson/1318">Lil' Son Jackson</a>'s "Travelin' Alone," which opens the album. Clapton's playing is characteristically tasteful throughout, and his vocal performances are among the most flexible.</p>