With his final album of the ’70s Joe Walsh tempered the explosive ambitions of his early solo LPs and found a way to channel his mercurial talents into a series of concise, and often poignant, pop songs. The underlying theme of the album is one of clarity and acceptance of past mistakes. The sweet, almost dainty “Second Hand Store” sums up Walsh’s viewpoint: “So you burned your bridges and headed downstream / Never know until you try / Spent your fortune on a river boat queen / Then the river ran dry / You end up sittin’ on a sand bar / Down to a handful of treasures / Another shot of gold won’t get you very far / When you got forever.” “Indian Summer” and “Tomorrow” are even prettier—breezy, layered pop confections that carry a haunted air. It’s a surprisingly mature album for a notorious prankster, but the instrumental “Theme from Boat Weirdos” shows Walsh is still a daydreamer, tinkering with all the bells and whistles of the recording studio. The only song that passes the five-minute mark is the single, “Life’s Been Good.” A classic-rock staple, the song has endured because of its bittersweet balance of hard-rock splendor and impish humor.
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