Eagles – a band which needs no introduction in northeast India. The generation that missed to enjoy the Beatles made it up by elevating this band to that very status and even for me, they were my generation Beatles. In fact, for a long time in this part of the country where the guitar is accepted as part and parcel of life, Hotel California was more of a ritualistic composition which was on the fingertips of every wannabe guitarist or music enthusiast, and it still is. As such, a new album from this bunch of musicians who had been lying low for a long time now is reason enough to party. Long Road out of Eden bears the regular Eagles trademark and though it might not go down with new musical tastes, it is still a classic nonetheless.
It should be remembered that ‘The Eagles’ peaked creatively only with the single, Hotel California in 1976; the second side of that particular album being filled with the self-indulgent musings of great musicians with too much time on their hands and not enough imagination. Their other albums were also on the same lines. However, ‘The Eagles’ have always excelled at both songs based on adult relationships, as well as rock numbers with great lyrics. With this particular album, I guess it is the former which is definitely outstanding whilst the latter is cannot be really termed as bad. Before we move further, it is also imperative to note that ‘The Eagles’ were more like a household name till almost a decade back and as such, comparison is bound to creep in with their latest offering and comparison never holds any water, be it musically or otherwise.
This double CD album contains several tracks or moments that are unmistakeably classic Eagles. However, the overall sound is more laid back than previous Eagles albums – the listener won’t find anything like Already Gone or Life in the Fast Lane in this collection. Instead, one will find superb and at times, intricate musicianship, some amazing melodies and interesting lyrics. It should be noted that ‘laid back’ does not in any way imply ‘bland’; this is quality musicianship and is but, a natural evolution from their previous albums; reflecting the 28 year gap since The Long Run. In any case, this was never going to be another 1970s Eagles album, made to sound as if the last one was only recorded last year. This is what the Eagles sound like 28 years down the line, and they sound good.
This is one of the most meticulously crafted albums the Eagles have ever done, without over-producing the heck out of it. Most of the songs have their trademark vocal harmonies and song arrangements. In fact, you will definitely be reminded of some former big and small hits. I can think of Take It Easy, Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, New Kid in Town, Best of My Love, etc. What has been added are more guitar solos – both fast and pensive. There’s been a lot of thought and work put into these 20 songs and every member has equally contributed.
The single How Long has a very classic Eagles sound much in the vein of Take It Easy while the title track is hauntingly strong and tends to grow on you. The tracks Somebody also bears that trademark Eagles stamp and Busy Being Fabulous is Don Henley at his cynical best. While Waiting in the Weeds has a beautiful change of key, it’s the guitar solos that really make this album a treat to the ears. Wonderful in every sense of the word – a classic album from a classic group.
Posted on January 15, 2010, in Concerts/ Reviews, Musicians/ Bands and tagged Aiyushman Dutta, eagles, guitar, guwahati, hotel california, long road out of eden, northeast india. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.