Money and Cigarettes

As we`re taking one more step back in Eric Clapton`s discography, we`ve finally reached a point where you could put a sticker on Eric`s albums cover "No Phil Collins involved". That`s certainly a relief, for "Money and Cigarettes" is an album where Clapton`s guitar and not some unknown guy`s synthesizer is the main star. Not that there`s too much spotlight on Clapton`s guitar work, but at least this is a record of living music and not some computed nonsense.
The record`s mood is very light and perfectly polished, so by listening to it you will be unlikely to get your grandmother mad but at least you won`t murder her with disastrous drum-machine beats either. The album kicks off with the bluesy "Everybody oughta make a change". Every bluesman in the world has played that melody for at least a few thousand times, but after having spent two days listening to some of the worst electronic crap ever associated with the name of Eric Clapton, I welcome it as a good old friend who may be kinda boring but who still is way better than the prankster kid from next door.
Actually that kinda summarizes the whole album - you wouldn`t find any great highlights here, all songs are kinda simple and not particularly original (on "Ain`t Going Down" Eric even plagiarizes "All along the watchtower") but at least they make you warm on the inside and occasionally even come up as sincerely emotional. "I`ve got a rock`n`roll heart" may be banal in essence but it so cosy and warm in its form that I just can`t resist from smiling and tapping my foot when it`s on my headphones. The same goes for "Pretty Girl". I gotta say that I somehow really like Eric`s voice. I know that he hasn`t got the greatest vocal chords in the business, that his range is rather limited, yet the way he presents himself is so sincere and straightforward that I can`t resist from loving him (unless he buries himself under tons of ugly synths that is).
It now seems to me that the accidental choice of going through his albums backwards and not forwards might have been a very wise decision after all. Perhaps if I hadn`t just listened to "August" and "Behind the Sun" I wouldn`t find "Money and Cigarettes" an enjoyable record at all but would consider it dull and pedestrian, yet after those two synthfests (especially "August") this album comes off almost like a highlight.
2007-10-19
7.0
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