It's been decades since Slowhand dropped an album with serious sonic oomph -- and this doesn't alter the trend. Clapton, by no means, is a bad album; it's just really mellow. Surrounded by an ensemble cast that includes Sheryl Crow, Wynton Marsalis, Steve Winwood and Allen Toussaint, he slinks his way through a collection of slow-burn blues-rock, pop standards and singer-songwriter balladry. The best thing about Clapton is the tasteful, T-Bone Burnett-inspired production. It's rich, even opaque at times. Another cool aspect is Derek Trucks' killer guitar work on "Rockin' Chair."