Album: Eric Clapton <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

The title of Clapton's latest album, recorded alongside the Robert Johnson covers for last year's Me and Mr Johnson, suggests it is intended to complement 1989's Journeyman. Where that album grew out of his touring lifestyle, this one reflects the more stable, rooted nature of his life now, with a new family. That's clear from the opening "So Tired", a relaxedJJ Cale-style groove with warm horns and nice unison scat and dobro fills, on which he complains contentedly about how "The babies all need feeding/ And one of them is teething". It sets out the stall for a CD whose tone recalls his 461 Ocean Boulevard era, particularly on the reggae skanks of the single "Revolution" and "Say What You Will" - the latter, with its slick rhythms and burnished brass, sounding like Steely Dan doing a reggae version of "Our Day Will Come". A handful of unusual covers - George Harrison's "Love Comes to Everyone", deep-soul versions of Vince Gill's "One Day" and The Detroit Spinners' "Love Don't Love Nobody", and an enjoyable romp through Stevie Wonder & Syreeta's "I'm Going Left" - lend variety to a set of original songs mostly concerned with domestic contentment, romantic devotion and the value of endurance in surmounting hardships. The best is "Run Home to Me", recollecting a shoreline epiphany, which has the most eloquent solo here.

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