When you’ve been around for as long as Eric Clapton has, you tend to not care as much about releasing a commercially successful album as much as just putting new material out there. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping Clapton has done on Old Sock since his last release in 2010.
At the outset, this record has a very relaxed, play-for-a-Saturday-afternoon-laze-session vibe. Somewhere you’re wondering if you should take Eric Clapton seriously looking at how the album art has this bubblegum, childish feel to it. What fun is music that takes itself too seriously?
The album opens with Further On Down The Road. Nothing very special, the song is typical country blues. The song is a bit too long for something that repetitive and ordinary in tune.
Old Sock features a lot of diverse talent with the likes of JJ Cale, Chaka Khan, Steve Winwood and Paul McCartney. You’re sold on the album if you just read the track lineup. The album mainly has covers of Clapton’s favourite songs. However it does have two original compositions – Gotta Get Over and Every Little Thing.
Gotta Get Over features Chaka Khan on guest vocals. The song is easy to sing along to and carries the strongest Clapton influence that is very identifiable. Easy riff, Gospel inspired chorus and it seems Clapton doesn’t have any intention of making it too grand.
The record as a whole sees Clapton going back to his Blues roots. Not that we’re complaining but fans of his 18 album strong catalog would naturally miss that Slowhand feel. The vocals are crisp and Clapton never fails you on that account.
Old Sock is a rather bold album seeing that it mainly consists of covers. Clapton is now that old rocker who settles into a slow, indulgent place eventually. Old Sock is an intimate but not self-aggrandizing piece of work. A special mention for the song titled Still Got The Blues as it’s undoubtedly the best on the record.
Eric Clapton has definitely taken a bold step with this record but he does little to indicate the direction in which he’s heading.