Analog Man

Joe Walsh

With the Eagles on break and various members spreading their wings, so to speak, all I can say is it's about friggin' time we get a solo album from Joe Walsh. Since the last one, 20 years ago, Walsh has sobered up, got hitched to an incredible woman (Marjorie, sister of Barbara Bach, Ringo Starr's wife, which means Ringo and Walsh are now related) and is feeling better about life (it was already good, remember?). Produced by Jeff Lynne, Analog Man covers the bases Joe Walsh fans are yearning for — the everyday Joe who plays a bad-ass guitar, works well with a melody and uses humor, wit and honesty at each turn of the phrase.

The title track is your ordinary average guy's take on the technology of the day. Walsh freely admits the album was made using digital technology, but he muses in song at its effect on the world at large with tongue wedged deeply in cheek via an older, perhaps man's perspective. You can really hear Lynne's touch on tracks like "Wrecking Ball" and "One Day At A Time," whereas the exotically stylish "Spanish Dancer" and "The Band Played On" finds Walsh diversify his sound.

He back ups soon enough on the James Gangish "Funk 50," but then closes the album with an economic, well-oiled instrumental called "India" that simply illustrates why Joe Walsh is one of greatest guitar players in rock n' roll history. Analog Man is all about Walsh, at 64, getting it all out of his system — straightforward views on life, well-crafted songs, and an underrated ability as a soloist and ensemble player. Content, related to a Beatle (who happens to play on a few tracks), in sync with the leader of Electric Light Orchestra and still flying high with the Eagles, Joe Walsh is what he is on this record and in life in general — an Analog Man.

~ Shawn Perry

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