Joe Walsh - Analog Man
Walsh ropes in Jeff Lynne to steer his first solo effort in nearly twenty years. Without wanting to be needlessly cynical, you know what it's gonna sound like, right? The ex-ELO man makes the ex-Eagle sound like just about every act whose sound he's added syrup to over the past thirty years.
If Walsh's continued day job with the friends-again Eagles is what keeps him from more personal works, Analog Man offers little stylistic variation. An oddly joyless affair, drowning in the kind of guitar multi-tracking that almost defined 70's US rock, Analog Man does drive time chuggers and soft rock balladry with a keen eye on the safety net; where it should really be scuffed and dusty, it's unspeakably clean. It's joyless sensibilities are typified on 'Band Played On', Walsh's de rigueur 'We Gotta Change Our Ways' song. The album title says it all: while contemporaries like Petty and Young work hard to maintain a sliver of outlaw spirit, Walsh, not unlike bandmate Don Henley, smugly settles for The Old Ways. You'd think rock 'n' roll survivors would have better stories to tell. Boring as hell.