Joe Walsh: Analog Man

Joe Walsh
Analog Man
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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. Add 80s-styled brittle percussion and drum machines (what’s with them Mr. Analog Man?) and you have a batch of snappy melodic pop rockers that would sound a whole lot better with a good old-fashioned live band playing them. Still it’s terrific to have him, his thin voice, self-deprecating way with words and patented guitar licks back in the spotlight after way too long. Now if he would just get a better producer, go old-school and reform the James Gang…