From the Cradle
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
By definition, "the blues" focus on life's hard times. But, despite a lack of emotional uplift, Clapton's earnest poetry avoids promoting drugs, alcohol or suicide as solutions to Bayou angst. "Sinner's Prayer" asks for the Lord's mercy. Most of these songs are simply innocuous expressions of inner turmoil.
"Hoochie Coochie Man" speaks of voodoo prophecy and fortune telling. On "Five Years Ago," Clapton views his future wife as a meal ticket ("Next woman I marry, she gonna work, bring me the gold").
In typical Clapton style, Cradle rocks with sixty minutes of dizzying blues guitar licks, wailing harmonica and a backbeat begging for empathy. But skillful instrumentals can't compensate for the disc's lyrical emptiness. Although it avoids steering listeners toward destructive pseudo-solutions (with the noted exceptions), it wallows in self-pity, failing to offer any hope.