Rolling Stone - 3/19/98, pp.63-644 Stars (out of 5)
- "...Clapton's most ambitious, introspective work since his days with the legendary, lacerating Derek and the Dominos....incorporates old-school R&B, orchestral maneuvers and dashes of (gulp!) electronica..."
Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); Ruth Kelly-Clapton (spoken vocals); Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar); London Session Orchestra (strings); Paul Brady (tin whistle, background vocals); Joe Sample (piano); Paul Carrack (Wurlitzer piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Chris Stainton (Hammond B-3 organ); Simon Climie (keyboards, synthesizer, programming, background vocals); Greg Phillinganes (keyboards); Louis Jardim (bass, percussion); Nathan East, Pino Palladino, Dave Bronze (bass); Steve Gadd (drums); Paul Waller (programming); Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Tony Rich, Chyna (background vocals).
Recorded at Olympic Studio, London, England, Ocean's Way Studio, Los Angeles, California.
PILGRIM was nominated for the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Pop Album. "My Father's Eyes" won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); Andy Fairweather Low (guitar); The London Session Orchestra (strings); Paul Brady (tin whistle, background vocals); Joe Sample (piano); Simon Climie (keyboards, programming, keyboard programming, drum programming, background vocals); Greg Phillinganes (keyboards); Dave Bronze, Nathan East, Pino Palladino (bass guitar); Steve Gadd (drums); Louis Jardim, Luis Jardim (percussion); Paul Waller (programming, drum programming); Chyna, Kenny Edmunds, Tony Rich (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Alan Douglas; Mick Guzauski.
Recording information: OIympic, London, England.
Illustrator: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
Unknown Contributor Role: Mike Higham.
Since donning an Armani suit back in the decadent '80s, Eric Clapton's music has become more polished as he's gotten older. Despite recording the all-blues FROM THE CRADLE collection in 1994, E.C. has either gone unplugged, collaborated with silky-smooth soulsters such as Babyface, or dabbled with current electronic trends. PILGRIM finds Slowhand doing all of the above on his first album of original material in nearly a decade. Unlike many older artists dipping their toes into the electronic pool, Clapton and co-producer Simon Climie's restrained use of programming gilds rather than overwhelms these original numbers.
In a welcome turn, Clapton wrote or co-wrote every song with the exception of Bob Dylan's "Born In Time" and "Going Down Slow," a St. Louis Jimmy blues nugget. Joined by Babyface on the former, Clapton gives both songs a lite-jazz treatment that meshes well with a burnished vocal style that sounds as if he's been listening to Curtis Mayfield recently. Complementing Clapton's emotive vocalizing is his always formidable guitar playing. Whether he politely funks it up on "She's Gone" or indulges his blues jones on the slow shuffle of "Sick And Tired," Eric Clapton's musical development continues to be a steady pilgrimage into the new millenium.