Take "Old Sock", the latest release from Eric Clapton for what it is, a cover album. Containing nearly 54 minutes of comfortable music, much that has been covered over the past couple of decades. Yet, for those seeking to kick back and take the day slowly, Old Sock serves up a rich treat.
A veteran in the music industry, Clapton has created solid new arrangements of classic tunes, all performed with a band that consists of many greats at times including Taj Mahal, JJ Cale, Steve Winwood , Paul McCartney and Chaka Khan. But, don't expect tons of guitar solos, as Old Sock showcases Clapton's rich singing instead. The album is somewhat carefully constructed and is a very "pleasant" listen … and that is mostly it, pleasant.
For audio enthusiasts, this album is excellent. The clarity and balance of the mix are top notch and demonstrate what a well recorded album actually sounds like. The bass guitar is smooth and has the fullness one would expect from a concert setting, yet it doesn't over power the other instruments. While much of the soundstage is centered, there is some spread to the left and right channels, providing some space within the overall mix. Clapton's guitar has a slinky sound that is a real throwback to his first solo album "Eric Clapton." Both lead and backing vocals are spot on and natural with little treatment. Rhythm and drums carry each song with the perfection of an aged wine.
While I picked up the compact disc version of this release, vinyl lovers will be pleased to know that a high quality pressing is available. Simply put, had the music been of higher caliber, I would likely have shelled out the extra bucks for what is likely the better quality version of this release.
Recommended for serious fans of Clapton and listeners who enjoy high quality recordings. Casual fans, and listeners who yearn for guitar licks should probably give this one a pass.
Get your copy here: