Release Date: Jun 5, 2012
Record label: Concord
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Hard Rock, Arena Rock
"Welcome to cyberspace/I'm lost in a fog," 64-year-old veteran guitar slinger and part-time Eagle Joe Walsh sings on the amiably cantankerous title track to his first solo record in 20 years. I.T. issues notwithstanding, life's clearly been pretty good to Walsh: He's sober ("One Day at a Time"), loves his family ("Family") and still has good command of his guitar chops (check out "Funk 50," a reinvention of the James Gang's 1970 killer "Funk #49," complete with new, carefree lyrics).
So anachronistic is Joe Walsh that he not only celebrates how he's an "Analog Man in a digital world," he hires Jeff Lynne as his producer for his first solo album in 20 years. And, apart from the odd lyrical reference to an iPod or Walsh's ongoing recovery, Analog Man sounds like it could have come out in 1992 and that's all due to Lynne, a man who makes a record in one particular way: crisp, clean, hook-laden, and sequenced so tightly there's no room to breathe. With no apparently irony, it sounds digital, not analog -- there's nothing greasy, even the James Gang's "Funk #49" has been given an immaculate 21st Century Digital Makeover and is now called "Funk 50" -- but it's been so long since Walsh has worked with a conscientious producer (this may be his first time, actually), he winds up reaping some benefit from such a controlled setting.
COMING THIS SUMMER! With as much SUBTLETY as AN EPISODE OF CSI bloody MIAMI! ANALOG MAN! The NEW ALBUM from JOE WALSH! Joe Walsh hasn’t released an album in 20 years; you have to go back another 20 or so to find him at his peak. The world has changed a lot in that time, and Joe Walsh wants you to know this. “Welcome to cyberspace, I’m lost in a fog, everything’s digital, I’m still analogue” is the album’s opening line, backed by one of those Seventies riffs that Never Mind The Bollocks was supposed to ensure we would never have to endure again.
Eagle and ex-James Gang banger Walsh gets cranky on the title track to his first solo album in 20 years where he rants about all things digital and contemporary, sort of like your crotchety uncle Joe. Production by the professional but slick and synth loving Jeff Lynne sands off the rough edges where Walsh used to thrive. That gives even this disc’s best tunes a homogenous sound which doesn’t do them or the guitarist any favors.