Picks and Pans Review: Another Ticket

updated 04/27/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/27/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Eric Clapton

Clapton cuts across so many musical idioms so easily in this LP that one tends to forget he was—and is—one of the great blues-rock guitarists. He does bring the old Slowhand fire to blues like Blow Wind Blow, Rita Mae and Catch Me If You Can. But the crossover into country and pop by the 36-year-old virtuoso bespeaks one of those rare authentic sagas of artistic renewal. This extraordinary album's finest track is Hold Me Lord, a sweetly bouncing acoustic gem with a gospelly lyric. But the real prize is Eric's sizzling dobro, displayed here with fluidity and invention unmatched since his 461 Ocean Boulevard album. On the title track, Clapton, who becomes more wistfully eloquent with each album, sings, "Every time you think you've paid the price/Seems you've always got to pay it twice." No stranger to hard times, Clapton may be living proof of the lyric: An ulcer has forced him to cancel his '81 U.S. tour.

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