'Road to Forever'
By Mike Joyce
Friday, November 16, 2012
Turns out the “Road to Forever” doesn’t stretch far. Before you know it, the new solo album from former Eagles guitarist Don Felder turns back on itself, recalling the glory days of ’70s country-rock. Small wonder several of Felder’s old pals, including Crosby, Stills and Nash, tag along for the ride.
It has been nearly 30 years since Felder released his first solo effort, but this album is yet more proof that the chief architect of “Hotel California,” the Eagles’ signature hit, has never ventured far from the sound he helped create with his surefire melodies and soaring slide guitar solos. Granted, it’s impossible to listen to some of the songs on “Road to Forever” without being reminded of the litigation involving Felder and his former bandmates. On the track “Money,” he vents, “Partners conspire / Like rabid vampires / Best way to shake you down.”
But Felder seems less interested in settling old scores than in reclaiming his place as a seasoned and viable artist. His songwriting is a few notches above the norm, his guitar work is colorfully evocative and the mostly understated vocals will sound comfortably familiar to longtime fans.
Smartly produced and sequenced, the album contrasts “Fall From the Grace of Love” and other sweet-tempered ballads with some vibrant rockers, including the ZZ Top-like “Girls in Black.” Mixing these tunes with obligatory Eagles hits won’t be a problem for Felder in concert. The transitions couldn’t be smoother.