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A Ship Called Love
(Telarc Records CD-83625)
Review Date: Oct, 2009
by Dave “Doc” Piltz
Eric Bibb’s music has been characterized in a variety of ways. Most commonly, Bibb has been placed in the acoustic or folk blues category and in many ways this is certainly an appropriate categorization of his music. However, on A Ship Called Love categorizing Bibb becomes a much more difficult proposition. Depending on where the listener is in the recording, Bibb could be easily classified as a bluesman, soulman, gospel singer, folk singer or a contemporary artist. The truth is “A Ship Called Love” is an eclectic blend of several different genres of music interpreted and performed by Eric Bibb.
Throughout the CD, Bibb teases the listener with his talent, but never really takes any one song to the heights expected or suggested by Bibb’s known talent. While I really enjoyed songs like “The Way You Are” and “Like Aretha Loves to Sing”; I was left wanting more on other songs like “Stickin’ to You” or “More o’ That”, which could perhaps be called spiritual, but not particularly inspiring. Bibb touches on other musical genres with “That’s What I Do”, where the images of soul singer Sam Cooke are invoked and “Turning World”, a foray into the world of reggae. I found that much of the music on A Ship Called Love is definitely gospel influenced. At least four songs; including the title tack “A Ship Called Love”, along with “Victory Voices”, When I Hear the Waves”, and “Praise ‘n’ Thanksgiving” struck me as gospel songs more that blues or any other musical style.
A Ship Called Love is certainly not void of blues sounds. The previously mentioned “Like Aretha Loves to Sing” and “The Way You Are”, as well as “Troubador” and “Faded Jeans” remind the listener that Eric Bibb is also a bluesman and a pretty good one. Bibb has a mellow, soothing voice and a guitar style that is smooth and pleasant to listen too. The bottom line though is that this CD, while good, does not provide the punch that one might expect from this talented performer. In fact, Bibb is a much stronger performer than exhibited on this recording.
If you are interested in learning more about Eric Bib, visit his website at
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