Eric Clapton is undoubtedly one of the world's finest songwriters, but a lot of time it's not the power of his words, it's the power of his playing. Eric Clapton let his guitar lead in Slowhand, a classic album that truly showed the power of expression of instrumentals.
Slowhand is a simple album through and through, but it does the most with what it has. Opening track 'Cocaine' is an anti-drug song, but deceptively slow. While Clapton sings about how cocaine can serve as an escape from bad times, the song serves as a statement to say if you don't watch yourself, it can consume you. This is one of the few songs where the guitar really serves as a background to the words, which is quickly reversed in 'Wonderful Tonight,' where the dreamy, romantic guitars seem to lead the track beyond Clapton's infatuated lyrics.
There is a very minimal style to Slowhand that really allows for the instrumentals to take shape. The melodies and sporadic guitars of 'Next Time You See Her' give it its uplifting and fun vibe, while the shimmering guitars and keys of 'We're All The Way' underlie the loving duet make it feel very sweet. There are times, being that the album relies heavily on sparse instrumentals and vocals, that things do feel a bit empty, such as in 'Lay Down Sally,' but everything works together in most songs to strengthen the messages, creating a wonderful sonic dance.
Eric Clapton let his guitar lead in Slowhand to really let the power of his playing take precedence over all else. His vocals tell the stories, and the instrumentals give them emotion. Clapton showcased his abilities as not only a songwriter, but a musician in Slowhand, piecing together simple yet thoughtful pieces that all show it.
Favorite Track: Wonderful Tonight
Least Favorite Track: Lay Down Sally
Rating: 70 / 100
Stream or buy Slowhand on Apple Music, and follow our Throwback Playlist on Apple Music: