Album review: "Analog Man"
By Mike Joyce
Friday, August 10, 2012
Commencement speakers may soon start referencing “Analog Man,” Joe Walsh’s new album. “Live your life like a wrecking ball,” the veteran rocker and Eagle advises at one point. “Just get carried away / And then you bounce back from another close call.”
Career tips follow (“If you just act as if you know what you’re doing / Everybody thinks that you do”), along with some hard-won wisdom (“I finally learned to live my life one day at a time”) and a reassuring reminder that the guy who recorded “Life’s Been Good” in the late ’70s hasn’t changed his tune.
The album, Walsh’s first solo release in 20 years, kicks off with the title track. It’s a Luddite’s lament (“What’s wrong with vinyl / I think it sounds great”), but the message is a tad misleading. The album, co-produced by Jeff Lynne, is a thoroughly modern and layered affair, with Lynne playing numerous instruments and some notable guests, including Walsh’s brother-in-law Ringo Starr, briefly surfacing. Despite some sentimental moments -- Walsh is fervently grateful for family, friends and good fortune -- “Analog Man” ultimately delivers the goods. It’s a spirited and engaging take on classic rock, complete with Walsh’s trademark humor and a vibrant assortment of blues-to-global guitar riffs and interludes.