Album Review: “Pilgrim” By Eric Clapton
via Anderson Crocamo/YouTube
Not His Best
“Pilgrim” was Eric Clapton’s first album featuring all-new material in almost a decade – the last being 1989’s “Journeyman.” 1992’s “Rush” was a soundtrack LP while 1994’s “From the Cradle” featured covers. “Pilgrim” was a commercial success in several countries and he bagged the Best Pop Vocal Performance Male during the Grammy Awards in 1999. It peaked at #4 on the US Billboard 200 and was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA.
Speaking about “Pilgrim”, he told Guitar World: “I think everybody has their own way of looking at their lives as some kind of pilgrimage. Some people will see their role as a pilgrim in terms of setting up a fine family, or establishing a business inheritance. Everyone’s got their own definition. Mine, I suppose, is to know myself. That’s probably as close as I can get to it — my goal is to really come to identify who I am to myself.”
The thing is, the LP doesn’t come close to his greatest works. There’s plenty of guitar and it’s been a long time since Clapton has written as many original songs as he did for “Pilgrim” but, it was lacking. For someone who has given us fiery records, soulful tunes, and heartwrenching songs, this was quite a disappointment. We’re not saying it’s all bad but we expected more especially since Clapton has showcased his musical genius more times than we can count.
The emotion is there each time he sung but overall, the tracks aren’t memorable and don’t leave a lasting impression. “My Father’s Eyes” and “River of Tears” are the only key tracks. There are bluesy numbers and acoustic ballads – but nothing that truly stands out. “Pilgrim” is decent enough to warrant a listen but it’s not something we’d put on repeat.