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Long Road Out Of Eden

There is more than nostalgia at work here. Lyrically at least, the cocaine cowboys of yore strive to engage with the modern world’s ills and idiosyncrasies.

Rating: 7 ½ / 10

Francis Jones, 15 Nov 2007

The sound is quintessential Eagles: artfully finessed harmonies, unerring guitar tunefulness and ballads in abundance. 28 years may have elapsed since their last studio album, but musically, time has not touched them. Long Road Out Of Eden, a double album no less, provides a direct line to the Eagles’ heyday, the band reprising their roles so uncannily that you wouldn’t be surprised to discover these tunes had been dug out of a 1970s time capsule.

However, there is more than nostalgia at work here. Lyrically at least, the cocaine cowboys of yore do strive to engage with the modern world’s ills and idiosyncrasies and, more pertinently, face their own advancing years. The opening ‘No More Walks In The Wood’, ostensibly a lament for the ailing environment, can also be read as a metaphor for life’s rapidly receding “afternoon”. The hard-won enlightenment evidenced by the Don Henley-helmed ‘Waiting In The Weeds’ beautifully evokes this twilight-of-their-days mood.

Elsewhere ‘Business As Usual’ takes corporate profit worshippers to task and ‘Frail Grasp On The Big Picture’ scolds those “who never seem to learn from history.” Always the sound is graceful and unhurried, the exquisite title track depicting its narrator “weaving down the American highway”, headed who-knows-where. Creatively it may be no great stretch, but, in a world raging with uncertainty, the familiarity and incontestable craft of Long Road Out Of Eden proves strangely reassuring.

Rating: 7 ½ / 10
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