CD Reviews: Steve Miller, Robert Plant & Eric Clapton All Make Lukewarm Returns

Under normal conditions, good cds deserve individual reviews. However, not in the case of these real lulewarm new releases by three veteran artists, Steve Miller, Robert Plant and Eric Clapton. I was really delighted to see these new releases, and had real high hopes here. But, all three artists sure knew how to disappoint me here and really break my heart. While, none of these albums are downright awful, the fact is that none of them are very good. And that’s really sad.
Steve Miller has been a longtime favorite of mine. I love this guy. Some of his albums like BOOK OF DREAMS raised the bar so high that you’d expect a new album on the par with this wall-to-wall classic album of great, great songs. Unfortunately, BINGO! is a disappointingly low energy, low key blues album that may well get back to the blues roots of Steve Miller, but it certainly lacks that cool and awesome commercial-success sound with every song. Nothing sounds single worthy here. I love blues music, and the musicianship is certainly good enough. But, this album is simply unfulfilling to me. I feel empty after listening to it. I expected so much better from the return of the “Space Cowboy”.


Interestingly, Steve Miller waited a lifetime to do this basic blues roots album. However, I think it’s better to avoid some urges.
Robert Plant. What words can I say to express my disappointment here. Robert Plant you were the voice of the legendary supergroup Led Zeppelin, remember that? But, it sure seems like you never once listened to one of those great albums before you came out with this real lukewarm solo effort. BAND OF JOY, sure didn’t leave me feeling very delighted. On the contrary, I felt so sad and disappointed after hearing this. This sure isn’t much of an album at all here. One heck of a heartbreak to any former fans of Zep. This album does the legendary Zeppelin name dirty.


And, now we come to Eric Clapton. Clapton was once the lead guitar great behind so many great acts, not the least of these Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos, among others. And his solo career has been quite impressive as well. But, the new release simply entitled CLAPTON is way too laid back. Nothing like the so impressive LIVE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN release with Steve Winwood a year earlier. Certainly not a terrible Eric Clapton album by any means, but hardly an impressive one by stretch of the imagination. With a simple title like CLAPTON, I should have expected just a minimal effort here. And that seems to be what I got. This sure reminds me of one of those contractual obligation effort albums. I don’t see this as being regarded as a classic any time real soon.


So, there you have three great recording artists, all capable of a classic effort. Yet, all three just barely went through the motions and issued real low energy attempts. And that’s pretty darn disappointing to me. I expected much better from all three legends.
The Bottom Line: Not a real terrible album here, but none that are great by any means: ++(Just fair, with only two stars out of four for all three lukewarm efforts. Spend your hard earned money at your own risk here, kids. At $16 bucks average each, these make for some high priced coffee cup coasters).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Wow, those comments on “Band of Joy” were from off-planet — glad I didn’t read this vaguely worded, totally off-base excuse for a review before I picked up the CD (for much less than $16, btw). How many recent interviews with Plant have you (apparently not) heard or read, Paul — the ones in which he made a point of stating he wasn’t the least bit interested in sounding like Led Zeppelin and was going for the feeling of his pre-Zep band with Bonham, also named “Band of Joy?”
    Folks, before you write off this effort as a “disappointment,” give a listen to the new Band of Joy live in NYC here, courtesy of NPR. They are by far the best musicians Plant has ever played with, bar none:

  • Steve Jacobson

    Band of Joy is a wonderful album. Plant was smart enough to recruit a world-class group of Americana musicians and let them do their thing. Thanks to Bruce Morgan for posting the concert link above.
    I do feel bad that the reviewer, Paul, was not able to understand and appreciate this music. Would someone please tell him not all music has to sound like Led Zeppelin?

  • Jen Andalou

    I’d have to agree on the efforts of Eric Clapton and Steve Miller as those records seem to be covering the same ground, just not as good. In regards to Robert Plant, he has been gone from Led Zeppelin for almost 30 years. Isn’t it time that people that review music in that light. He’s had some hit and miss works over the last 30 years but at least he has got the balls to try to make music he likes. Luckily for us, so do we. Maybe the writer might try to explain why exactly he’s so disappointed. What Robert Plant album or project are you comparing this new album to? Why is this album a failure? What are you looking for when you pick up a Robert Plant album? Wouldn’t that make for a constructive read? I have to say Paul, that most people that write about music use actual adjectives and verbs to describe why they don’t like an album and then follow up with some examples.

  • Chauncey Davenport

    Is Paul Hogan an actual writer or just some blogger that wanted to fill some space? Usually people the write about music use anecdotes or narratives to make their point. Some will look back to previous work and compare and contrast to make their point. No, not Paul. For his review of Steve Miller he doesn’t like the new stuff because it doesn’t sound like his “commercially successful stuff”. He indicates that “nothing sounds single worthy”. WTF? For the Clapton review, the music is “too laid back”. Seriously Paul, have you thought about using some more descriptive terms? Are you speaking of the entire album or just certain songs? For the Robert Plant review, the complaint is that it isn’t Led Zeppelin. REALLY? Were you aware that Led Zeppelin ceased to exist as a band in 1980? Not one single reason why you don’t like this album. No noting how Robert did a wonderful job of covering Lows’ tracks or even Los Lobos. In fact no comparison what so ever to any of Roberts previous 9 other albums since Led Zeppelin. Paul, your review kinda sucks. Maybe you should invite someone who really likes music to do a review, because I get the feeling that you’d rather be doing something else… like golfing or shuffleboard.