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The Breeze: An Appreciation of J.J. Cale Image
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jul 29, 2014
    80
    Clapton shares some of his most transcendent guitar playing in years, especially the slide-guitar peaks of “I’ll Be There” and “I Got the Same Old Blues.” Most of his collaborations are inspired.
  2. Jul 29, 2014
    75
    Eric Clapton calls his new album of J.J. Cale songs an appreciation rather than a tribute, and that word choice gets at the appealingly modest vibe of this record.
  3. Jul 29, 2014
    70
    Breeze: An Appreciation Of JJ Cale isn’t a perfect record by any means, but if these versions of his best-loved songs from Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Willie Nelson and Mark Knopfler encourage people to listen to Cale’s originals, the whole effort will have been worthwhile.
  4. Mojo
    Jul 25, 2014
    60
    Fade-outs on six of the songs suggest a studio-jam approach that works well, but some of the best tracks are the ones that shirk blues idioms. [Aug 2014, p.90]
  5. Jul 29, 2014
    60
    Clapton's renditions can be a little too faithful.
  6. Jul 25, 2014
    60
    Purists will lap this up, but ultimately, as lovingly constructed a tribute as this is, there’s an unavoidable sense that Clapton is preaching exclusively to the choir.
  7. Jul 28, 2014
    50
    It's all perfectly pleasant and a convincing testament to what Clapton learned from Cale, although its silvery monochromatic shuffles suggest J.J. was a little more one-dimensional than he actually was.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 16, 2014
    10
    I fondly remember growing up as a teenager with the emergence of hard rock in the early seventies. It was epitomised by the driving precisionI fondly remember growing up as a teenager with the emergence of hard rock in the early seventies. It was epitomised by the driving precision blues of Status Quo and ZZ Top. It took over from the slightly softer blues that had been laid down in Chuck Berry's Johnny B Good and The Beatles' Get Back. But there was a counterpoint to this and it was JJ Cale. A mellow stripped down version. It was mesmerising in its simplicity. Take a song like Crazy Mama. Most of it is built around a simple boogie on an E chord, bomba bomba, bomba bomba, bomba bomba.. it dances along definitely not overstated, but at the same time avoiding monotony, just sitting there under simple and direct lyrics. Then there's this great little triplet of D, A and E. It just flows over you, releasing you from the steady E boogie. Absolute poetry. Neil Young says it's one of the five songs that shaped his songwriting. I get that. Or how about Magnolia, an alternation of an F major 7 and a C major 7 repeated a few times and then a delicate little run, bompa, bom bom, bom bom bom. Again the lyrics flow along with it, sensitive, honest, and direct. Magic. You can hear JJ Cale in Neil Young, and in Eric Clapton, and Mark Knopfler, and John Mayer, and yeah in Status Quo and ZZ Top. I remember when JJ Cale died last year. I cried because there would be no more JJ Cale music. Then along comes The Breeze appreciation album and hell its a beautiful thing. Beautiful playing, not just faithful, but reverent. Magnolia is there, embellished with an intro, a solo, and few more runs, but careful not to overstate. Wonderful. The whole album is poetry. Call Me the Breeze, Sensitive Kind, Someday, Cryin Eyes. Hell, love it all. Thank you Eric, Tom, Mark, John, Willie, Don, Derek, Christine. Thank you for keeping JJ alive a bit longer. The only thing I missed was Neil doing Crazy Mama but maybe that will come one day. I felt compelled to write this after reading a few of the critics' reviews. 60 out of 100 from Rolling Stone, "Clapton's renditions can be a little too faithful''. No they can't, and that's the whole point. This is great musicians playing tribute to great music and we're blessed to have it. Expand