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).