Analog Man is Joe Walsh's first solo album in 20 years and it sounds as though he's never been away. Produced by the ELO stalwart, Jeff Lynne, it is a glorious, hook laden affair drenched with Walsh's infectious guitar riffs and instantly recalling his 1978 classic "But Seriously, Folks".
There is some shining stuff here: the arena rock sound of "One Day At A Time", the rhythmic, latin inflected "Spanish Dancer", the gentle reflective "Lucky That Way" and the gutsy "Analog Man" recalling the entry of a 64 year old into the digital world. You cannot fail to be ignited by "Wrecking Ball", "Family" is a haunting piano led ballad offering thanks for his new found family life while "India" is a funky jazz rock instrumental that is a reminder of just how inventive Walsh is - it's brilliant and timeless.
Supported by ageing luminaries such as David Crosby, Ringo Starr, Graham Nash and Little Richard it would be easy to dismiss this album as the swansong of an old fogey surrounded by other old fogies. But Jeff Lynne's tight production propels this album headlong into the 21st Century, Joe Walsh's voice has rarely sounded better and his trademark guitar is as rousing as ever.
Is this a fitting coda to the work of a rock legend? I hope not because on this evidence there is a lot more for Joe Walsh to say and play. Classic sounds like these will always have a place in the rock pantheon.