Sunday, September 4, 2011

Eric Clapton - Another Ticket

Welcome to the Eric Clapton record that began over a decade of avoidance to the legendary guitarist.

Another Ticket marked Clapton’s first attempt at pulling the proverbial wool over his fan’s eyes by delivering an album of such notable mediocrity that it’s hard to fathom how it could get any worse.

Remarkably, as tepid as Another Ticket is, it still doesn’t represent how bad Clapton got. It’s notable for the fact that this is the record where he began to not give a shit. There is little within it that can be thought of as memorable, which is ironically the reason why I dug it out and listened to it again.

Aside from the album’s only hit, “I Can’t Stand It,” I could remember little about Another Ticket’s other selections. And after my visit, I can assure you that it may be another few decades before I listen to this album again.

It begins with “Somethin’ Special,” a plodding piece that puts Clapton 20 years past his age at the time of this recording. There’s little emotion within it, just a tired patch of music that he farted out for no other reason than it was one step towards contract obligation.

There’s plenty more of this ilk throughout the record.

The title track is even worse with its whining narrative of an aging star finding his life is merely a treadmill of circular obligations.

Even on a raucous cover of “Blow Wind Blow” finds Clapton mustering up a half-ass growl with shelling out guitar licks that he could accomplish in his sleep.

Only “I Can’t Stand It” breaks out of the slow/mid-tempo mode with any conviction. No wonder it proved to be the record’s only hit single.

Another Ticket finds Eric shuffling through middle age with no hint of guitar prowess or even a desire to be recognized as a superstar within rock’s elite. He either thought that he could retain that status by phoning it in or, true to the album title, has just discovered that that even a rock and roll lifestyle is just as mundane as the regular Joe's still buying his mope.

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