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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 1998
When I had to give this album a rating, I almost gave it a subjective four stars. I thought, if every song on the album was perfect, I'd give it five stars ... But then something struck me. This album is so radically different, so truly new, that it deserves a five star rating. How many artists have ever been able to reinvent themselves as successfully as Eric Clapton? Very, very few. And I'm not judging his success by the album's rating on the charts, or how much money he'll make off of it. Eric's career is so well established that it's written in the stars. I'm judging his success by the songs and workmanship on the album itself. His voice has grown to fit him, and his vocal range is astounding, especially after going back and listening to his early vocal work with The Bluesbreakers, Cream, Derek and the Dominoes and Blind Faith. Yes, his guitar work is subtle on this album, but subtle like the brush strokes of Michelangelo on the Sistine Ceiling. Volume ! isn't everything, sometimes softness can be more powerful. "River of Tears" is a song for anyone who has ever suffered a loss. Go someplace quiet and just listen to it. It will wash over you like a gentle hand, wiping your pain away. And that's what this album is really all about. Clapton discusses it in the Pilgrim tour book, how most of the songs were inspired by a recent love he lost. Music, to Mr. Clapton, is a means of healing. "Circus", a song he wrote about his son Conor, proves that Eric is still healing from the loss of his son, and probably always will be. But there are high volume songs on this album, too. "Sick and Tired", a Clapton-penned blues rocker is an electrified tribute to the Texas Blues of Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Clapton's playing on this one is absolutely jubilant. And "She's Gone" is pure Clapton dynamite. Just listen to it. Basically, Eric took a chance and laid it all out for this album. He t! urned a page, and tried a new musical direction. His sound! is still there, but it has somewhere to go other than backwards. And though the songs are heavy and often sad, they're ultimately an exercise in moving on. Eric Clapton has had the blues, but he's making music about them. That's what it's all about.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2005
I know a lot of people do not like this disk.I must say though

if you take it for what it is and give it a chance it is a very very good cd. it is not Ocean blvd,or backless not even close if you are lookinng for that this is not it. but it is a very steady and relaxing cd that you must be in the space for.

If you really like Clapton,not just commercial Clapton you should like this disk.I can put it on and let it play from start to finish.you must be open to Where Clapton was at at the time of this disk and take it for what it is and not try to make it be a 1976 E.C. Album.the musician ship is awsome and it is a very deep soulfull disk. a good bottle of wine headphones and candles type of album.give it a chance if you like music not just close minded commercial rock , you will enjoy it..
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2006
You either love it or you hate it. I LOVE it! Perhaps it is the fact that this is such a departure in style from anything else Eric Clapton has ever done. He brings his blues guitar background to a melodic electronic mix and in my opinion, created a masterpiece. Forget the fast forward button. It is rare that you have an "non-compliation" album where 13 out of the 14 songs are great. Pilgrim delivers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
I cannot believe how many people gave this classic work one star. They swoop down like vultures to gnaw on the carrion of Eric's soul as he offers up his grief to God as music in an attempt to heal from the horrific loss of his child, Connor. These emotional mutants log on to pick at his carcass now; will they remember their callous hearts when the hand of fate comes knocking on their door? To anyone who has experienced such an emotional blow or who can use their ears and hearts to imagine the horror of it, this album is a must own; it will help form the healing scab over the wound while allowing the very real emotional pain to flow right on through, unimpeded, to join the angelic choir that stands ready to welcome any soul whose open heart chakra seeks their comfort. God Bless ya', Eric!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2005
I'm amazed at the vitriol of some of these reviews. The album ought to be judged on its own merits. It doesn't make any sense to rate it 1-star because it's a different style of music than you were expecting. If it's not your prefered genre that's your problem, it doesn't automatically make the music "awful." Yeah, it's a departure. And it's also a passionate and lovely album. "My Father's Eyes", "River of Tears", "Pilgrim", and "Broken Hearted" are very good songs. It's not a 5-star effort but it sure ain't "awful."
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2004
Sure, we all remember Layla and Cocaine, and this album is definitely not along these lines. And even more surprising is the fact that while Clapton is one of the best blues guitarists ever, he doesn't emphasize his qualities in this regard on this album. The emphasis is clearly on the words of each song which are sensitive and which carry a very deep meaning ... and this makes "Pilgrim" so very special. And of course, the musical quality is there too, but those who remember Clapton from the old day so to speak, may not like this kind of Eric Clapton. The album starts right away with an excellent song titled "My Father's Eyes" and goes on with "River of Tears" and an excellent song called "Pilgrim" (Pilgrim for your love ...) and the "Broken Hearted" and one great song after another. The album leads to "She's Gone" which is a loaded edgy number with great guitar riffs. It took me several dozen times to listen to this CD to hear the excellent depth and thought that went into this production, and I gave it time to grow on me over a couple of years or so and now not a week goes by where I don't listen to it at least once. It's really an excellent album.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2005
I as a fan who has most of EC CDs in my collection can say this album is one of my favorites between them.Maybe its cuz I love these sort of music which you can see clouds of sadness in its sky but I can't understand why people give low rates to this album ??? Ya it is different from his other albums & thats why EC is EC.I've never heard anything from him,makes this feeling to me that I don't like it.I recomend everybody to just give it a chance & just judge about it yourself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 1999
After the wonderful "back to the basics" Unplugged & From the Cradle albums from Clapton in the 90s, long time fans have been dissapointed with this high-tech album. I admire EC for trying something different, but drum machines & so much synth seems out place with Clapton. He may have spent a little too much time with Babyface prior to this one. Try the 2 previous CDs, Slow Hand, Just One Night or 461 Ocean Blvd for great solo Eric.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2009
Seriously, everyone has a handful of albums or CDs that the whole thing just echoes or conjurs up an experience in your life and you swear the artist must have been right there and witnessed it because the song hits so close to home, and not just a song but the whole album. Well Pilgrim is one of those for me. I always have been a Clapton fan, and I had read somewhere recently it wasn't received very well so I thought I would check the old amazon reviews and try to get a feeling. I was glad to see a lot of positive reviews and more than a little taken a back at how mean the negative ones were.
Back to Pilgrim. I can't explain it but this CD reaches out and touches the soul. I know that just because an album does it for one person, doesn't mean it will do it for all, but this is one of the few I think could pull it off if you give it a real chance. I can't say if its like Journeyman, or Cream or the Dominos days, I don't think that would be fair because it is so much different but still soooooooooooooooooo Clapton. This isn't full of party hard licks like Layla. But its not totally void of that either. The guitar playing is subtle yet you can't stop hearing it because it sticks. This is an album that can induce healing and peace even when the songs descibe loss. Its a journey, and that's what Pilgrims do.

Give this CD a real chance, I'll bet when you get done you are somewhere between a smile and a wince. Not about the quality of the album,that will no longer be in in dispute, but the qualiity of the things in your own life you had forgotten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2002
I don't know whether to call "Pilgrim" a masterpiece or a dud - it's actually a little bit of both. Only the first track - the radio hit "My Father's Eyes" - is predictable adult contemporary. The rest is divided between flashes of such brilliance and periods of such artificial techno drivel that the album as a whole sounds schizophrenic. "River of Tears" is a moving slow blues, perhaps the best E.C. composition since "Layla." And other songs ("Fall Like Rain," "Sick & Tired") display all of Eric's classic rock fire. However, about half of the tracks are virtually ruined by the artificial, electronic production of Simon Climie. An apparent attempt to sound modern and hip merely sounds misguided and disposable. You'll probably love parts of "Pilgrim" and hate other parts - but at least you won't be bored.
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