Eric Bibb – A Ship Called Love (2005/2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Eric Bibb – A Ship Called Love (2005/2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 54:11 minutes | 1,03 GB | Genre: Blues
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © BConnected Records

Eric Bibb has been generally categorized as an acoustic blues player, but like Keb’ Mo’, the contemporary artist he most resembles, Bibb actually only uses blues forms on occasion, and it no doubt helps to get the listener in the door, but what is really on display here is a smooth-as-velvet singer/songwriter. It’s curious that he dedicates A Ship Called Love to the great Curtis Mayfield, because Bibb is really much closer to Mayfield in tone and approach than he is to a Blind Lemon Jefferson, say, and the title cut here, which leads off the album, owes more than a little to Mayfield’s faux gospel classic “People Get Ready.” It also gets things underway nicely here, but as love song after gentle love song rolls by, all meticulously arranged, recorded, and sung with perfectly nuanced emotional presence, A Ship Called Love begins to drift from shore in its own studied smoothness. Not that there aren’t high points, like the autobiographical “Troubadour,” a fine duet with Ruthie Foster that arrives at about midpoint in the set, and the engaging, gentle reggae lilt of “Turning World,” but by the time Bibb gets around to actually playing a blues, the micro-analytic “More o’ That,” it seems downright radical after so much gentle elegance. The closer, “Praise ‘n’ Thanksgiving,” flirts with folk-gospel, and is so grateful and reverent that it is impossible to resist, even as one wishes that a little of that reverence had been replaced with pure, wild joy. That, in the end, is what this album needs to make it more than a pleasant rumination on the sea of love. It needs a touch of wildness to temper the calm surface of these songs, because love, more so than all the other emotions, benefits from occasional changes in wind direction.

01. Eric Bibb – A Ship Called Love (03:10)
02. Eric Bibb – Victory Voices (03:08)
03. Eric Bibb – Right Where We Are (03:40)
04. Eric Bibb – Like Aretha Loves to Sing (04:04)
05. Eric Bibb – I’ll Never Lose You (03:42)
06. Eric Bibb – The Way You Are (03:13)
07. Eric Bibb – Stickin’ to You (04:26)
08. Eric Bibb – Troubadour (04:46)
09. Eric Bibb – That’s What I Do (04:35)
10. Eric Bibb – Turning World (04:13)
11. Eric Bibb – More O’ That (04:04)
12. Eric Bibb – Faded Jeans (03:48)
13. Eric Bibb – When I Hear the Waves (03:33)
14. Eric Bibb – Praise ‘N’ Thanksgiving (03:42)


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