by Nigel Ward
Joe Walsh, one of the most influential guitar players from the 1960s and 70s, returns bearing the same rock sound that he is known for. A sound that no computer can duplicate or create, which can only be made one way; that analog sound.
You might recognize Walsh’s hard rock sound on The Eagles’ classic “Hotel California,” or his funky riffs while he was with James Gang. Walsh is very well known within the classic rock community as one of the most versatile and unique sounding guitarists.
His latest solo album, Analog Man, marks his first since 1992, and he returns with a slew of new songs that demonstrate his complete mastery of rock and roll.
“Analog Man” sets the tone right away with a hard rocking guitar riff, backed by a southern twang slide guitar while Walsh’s lyrics critique society’s current reliance on all things digital. “The whole world’s living in a digital dream,” he sings.
Throughout the album his versatility is well shown. There are the rock heavy tracks, showcasing Walsh’s interesting and catchy riffs that are hard not to air-guitar along with. There are the slower ballads like “Lucky That Way” that have more of a country vibe to them as he utilizes his mastery of slide guitar. Then there are other tracks where he decides to reach into his bag of tricks. “Spanish Dancer” sways to a Latin ballad only then to have Walsh break it down into one of his famous funk riffs. He reaches further into his bag as “Band Plays On” starts off with an interesting Sitar riff followed by more rock-heavy guitar in the chorus.
With Analog Man, Walsh bring the listener back in the 70s, where music was not made on computers. After 40 years of making music, Walsh still proves to be an incredible analog man.