The same can be said for much of the outside material. Clapton takes 25 years off his odometer on a spirited run-through of J.J. Cale's "Travelin' Light," and turns up a slab of fatback in Ray Charles's "Come Back Baby." His treatment of Stevie Wonder's "I Ain't Gonna Stand for It" is remarkable in that EC makes the song all his own.
The only time the queasiness needle tilts into the red zone is on the breezy acoustic pop of his "Modern Girl," an overly cloying little ditty about looking for that woman who's simultaneously independent and needy. It is every bit as awful as one would imagine given the artist, title and point of career involved.
Guitarists Doyle Bramhall II and Andy Fairweather-Low also bear mention. Because of them, an ephemeral "new Texas roots" vibe emanates from Reptile. But the work of Bramhall, Fairweather-Low and every other musician on the record helps bear Clapton aloft on the exalted plane he inhabits. Reptile does no damage whatsoever to this standing.