Eric Clapton: Just One Night

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ImageRecorded live in Japan at Budokan (like about half the other concert LPs I’ve received lately, or so it seems), this two-record package should come as a big disappointment to those who fondly recall Clapton’s passionate Derek and the Dominos days. Focusing here on tunes from recent sets (mostly Slowhand and Backless), the guitarist seems mainly just to be going through the motions. Though his extreme competence is in evidence throughout, the sort of emotional intensity that characterizes classic blues is the exception, not the rule. Clearly, the man can still sing and play with the best of them; but when you compare the staid, sluggish stuff here with past triumphs, you have to wonder whether he still really wants to.

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