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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Eric Clapton

Behind the Sun (Limited Edition Hybrid SACD version)

Review by Gary Hill

This CD is one of the latest in a series of audiophile discs coming out. I can’t say that I have the original album for comparison, but the sound here is great. This Eric Clapton album has some great music and some stuff that just doesn’t work that well for me. Still, overall it’s quite a good disc. Clapton assembled quite a cast for this album. First, Phil Collins produced it and performs on some of the songs. Among others, additional guest musicians of note include: Donald “Duck” Dunn, Ray Cooper, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Lindsey Buckingham,

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
She's Waiting

I’ve always liked this rocker quite a bit. The vocal arrangement and hooks really sell it, but the song itself is musically classy, too. To me, it feels a bit like the kind of music Clapton did all the way back to his first solo album.

See What Love Can Do
Personally, I don’t think this song is as effective as the opener was. It has sort of a reggae meets jazz meets pop rock vibe to it. While the tune itself might fall a bit short compared to the opener, the guitar soloing here is a step above that on the first song. It manages to really elevate this.
Same Old Blues

As one might guess from the title, this is a much more bluesy tune. I wouldn’t really call it the blues, though. It’s informed by the blues, but it’s a slow rocker. It’s got a lot of energy and some smoking hot guitar work. The female backing vocals lend some character to this, too. The instrumental section later in this song is really a killer. It almost leans towards progressive rock at times.

Knock on Wood
This one doesn’t do a lot for me. There’s too much of a Mo-town vibe to it and the arrangement has some 1980s trappings. It just doesn’t really shine all that brightly as far as I’m concerned.
Something’s Happening

Here’s another that doesn’t do a lot for me. It’s not a bad song by any means. It’s just sort of middle of the road.

Forever Man

Now, this is one of the best tunes here. The vocal hooks are top notch. The arrangement is energetic and this just rocks. There is really a Derek and the Dominoes kind of vibe to it.     

It All Depends
 A mid-tempo number, this is another that’s pretty good. It’s not one of the real highlights here, but the soulful rocking vibe of it works well.
Tangled in Love
Some of the delicate guitar soloing bits really sell this thing. It’s got a solid rock hook, too. The female vocals lend some charm to it, as well.
Never Make You Cry
While this slow moving, mellow number isn’t the kind of thing that really grabs you out of the gate, it’s quite a good song. It’s different, that’s for sure. That variety is a good thing. Besides that, if you give this one a chance, it will definitely grow on you.
Just Like a Prisoner

I really like the guitar soloing on this. It’s really the biggest selling factor here. That said, Clapton’s vocals on this seem to just drip emotion. That adds a lot, too. This is a fairly slow and quite bluesy number that is among the standouts of the disc.

Behind the Sun

A lot of times the title track to an album is the real masterpiece of the set. The same can be said for closing tracks. That’s not so on this disc. This piece is a mellow and understated number that’s simplistic and short. It’s just Clapton on vocals and guitar with some synthesizers by Phil Collins. The thing is, it works. It lends sort of a genuine nature to the album in a way. It just feels vulnerable and real. The effect at the end is a grounding one. Somehow that makes the album work even better.

 

 
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