.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/c985c30ff20f8479498a8d88db76271c01971a97.jpg Back Home

Eric Clapton

Back Home

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
September 8, 2005

As this title to Eric Clapton's new album has it, the guitar giant has now returned back home from his recent meetings at the crossroads with Robert Johnson (Me and Mr. Johnson, Sessions for Robert J) — and the new album is a far more restrained, tasteful and slickly produced environment. Shaking hellhounds off your trail is one thing, but domesticity, one of Back Home's central themes, presents its own trials. "Now Mama's gettin' snappy/And Daddy won't change no nappy," this married father of three young girls sings on the sprightly opening track, "So Tired." (Must be the nanny's day off.)

At sixty, Clapton is deeply grateful to be sober and settled; the specter of his four-year-old son Conor's tragic death in 1991 (the subject of his 1992 ballad "Tears in Heaven") lends weight to the celebrations of "the sweet, simple moments" of family life in the title track and "Run Home to Me." Similarly, his lighthearted rendition of George Harrison's "Love Comes to Everyone" suits the album's mood and poignantly acknowledges his deceased friend. On "Revolution," a sinuous reggae shuffle, Clapton and his deft band (which, on various tracks, includes the likes of drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Nathan East, keyboardist Billy Preston and guests such as John Mayer, Robert Randolph and Steve Winwood) burn off Back Home's polish and heat the track to a seductive simmer.

Alas, if you're looking for Slowhand to ignite the pyrotechnics, forget it. He's busy out in the backyard, playing with the girls. But as he sings on "So Tired," "Sometimes I think that I'm too old for this/I must have better things to do/But when it's time for my good-night kiss/My dreams have all come true."

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com