EC_Old Sock
Old Sock
Eric Clapton

Old Sock, the latest offering from Eric Clapton and his twentieth studio album, is notable more for its guest list than its sound or song choices. The album slides comfortably into the rocking chair of adult contemporary, with one hand holding three classic blues chords and the other a noodly, understated guitar solo. While the production value is good, and the playing is solid, there is little that stands out. “Further on Down the Road,” for example, features Taj Mahal— which itself makes sense—but puts the tune behind a calypso beat, which lends it a feel that doesn’t seem quite right. Which isn’t to say that the tracks are unlikeable. “Goodnight Irene,” for example, is a little maudlin in its country slide guitar version, but listenable. Rather, the album is an example of the Rod Stewart effect—aging rockers mellowing out their sound as they age. Clapton’s croony rendition of “Our Love is Here to Stay” is a perfect example of this as it marches through its verse-chorus-solo-verse formula precisely, complete with backup singers. For the die hard Clapton fan, this album might be interesting for the sake of completeness, but for the rest of us it’s a bit of a head scratcher.