This album has garnered mixed reviews over the years. In '79, it was seen as an almost-renaissance. I think this did a disservice to the two previous albums, Run with the Pack, and Burning Sky; that's another story, though. Desolation... is certainly a good record in its own right, but is not very immediate. A grower, then? Yes, George, a grower.
The hard-rock side was very well covered. Rock'n'Roll Fantasy had the sort of heavy, menacing groove that Rainbow had used the year before (Lady of the Lake, and LA Connection, both from Long Live Rock'n'Roll). Gone Gone Gone showed how good a songwriter Boz Burrell (RiP) was; Joe Walshian humour with funky hard rock. Darn great! Evil Wind is an inspired number too (and this time Rainbow used a Bad Co song as blueprint - hear No Release, from Difficult to Cure, '81). Ralphs' little solo at the end, with Burrell and Kirke getting funky again, is worth hearing several times. Shame it wasn't a bit longer.
Oh Atlanta is the more countrified Bad Co, like Simple Man and others. And Crazy Circles shows that acoustic numbers can be exciting. The other five tracks all have something to offer after a few plays. Rodgers is his usual classy self, of course.
Overall, recommended, unless you hate subtle hard rock albums!