After a series of ambitious, atmospheric concept albums over the years, Robbie Robertson delivers his fifth album, the bluesy How To Become Clairvoyant, his most personal and appealing. Finally comfortable writing about his past, Robertson weaves tales about years of hard living and excess (“He Don’t Live Here No More”), and youthful but doomed 60s idealism (“When The Night Was Young”). “This Is Where I Get Off” is an evocative, rueful look at the breakup of The Band. In less skilled hands, these songs could easily turn maudlin, but Robertson knows exactly what to reveal vocally, lyrically, and instrumentally— and what to leave unsaid. Longtime friend Eric Clapton plays or sings with Robertson on nearly half of the twelve tracks, including two instrumental cuts. Their relaxed, eloquent guitar jams make one long for a quick peek into the alternate universe where Clapton fulfilled his wish and joined The Band. Other guest artists include Steve Winwood, Tom Morello, Trent Reznor, and slide guitarist extraordinaire Robert Randolph, plus a fine rhythm section of Pino Palladino (bass) and Ian Thomas (drums). The vinyl edition is audiophile-quality: two 180-gram discs boasting pristine, silent surfaces—and a wider, airier soundstage than the CD.