Tuesday’s Best: Joe Walsh Ends 20-Year Break With Analog Man
On Tuesday, Eagles guitar player and songwriter Joe Walsh will release his first solo record in 20 years, the thrilling Analog Man. Walsh’s 11th studio album, Analog Man, is his first since 1992’s Songs For A Dying Planet and contains a brilliant set of lyrics complemented by a masterful set of guitar licks that made the LP well worth the wait.
Co-produced by Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra, Traveling Wilburys), Analog Man’s title track leads off the album with the LP’s biggest statement as Walsh reflects on commercials, a ten-year-old smart-ass, and spam before observing, “the whole world’s living in a digital dream, it’s not really there, it’s all on a screen.” As is his customary style, Walsh never minces words with the song’s lyrics, but unusually only returns to the direct nature of the track in “Band Played On.”
Walsh followed the provocative song with a run of guitar hooks that never really lets up, starting with the slick brilliance of “Wrecking Ball” and ending with the face-melting instrumental “India.” In between those two tracks, Walsh flashes romance in “Spanish Dancer,” sentiment in “Family,” and the sitar in “Band Played On.” A late track on Analog Man that hovers around a more laid back genius is “Hi-Roller Baby,” where Walsh invites an object of affection to “come and take a chance on me.”
The producer’s influence blatantly comes through on “One Day At A Time,” where the Wilbury-style guitars dominate the song’s arrangements. Aside from Lynne, who also played a sizeable array of instruments on Analog Man, Walsh was joined by Steve Jay (Weird Al Yankovic), Ringo Starr on percussion and drums, and the vocal tag team of David Crosby and Graham Nash, who lent their harmony to “Family.”
Analog Man is available as a digital download, compact disc and vinyl, as well as having the appropriate promotional cassette tapes. There is also a 12-track deluxe edition of the record and a cd/dvd deluxe combo pack. Walsh will kick off his 2012 tour at Naperville, Illinois’ Ribfest on June 30.
Other Cool Stuff That Hits This Week: The Beach Boys: That’s Why God Made The Radio, Neil Young: Americana, Rhett Miller: The Dreamer, Patti Smith: Banga, The Hives: Lex Hives
Walsh’s “Wrecking Ball” from the deluxe DVD at West Hollywood’s esteemed The Troubadour: