Friday, 6 January 2012

I broke my leg: The Confessor - Joe Walsh (1985)

I think that AllMusic can sometimes be accused of being quite uncharitable, in fact, snobbish on some occasions. This is especially true when it comes to the music of Joe Walsh, the brilliant axe-man who penned such hits as 'Rocky Mountain Way', 'Life's been Good' and wrote the grinding riff to The Eagle's 'Life in the Fastlane' (which he also played). Whilst the Confessor is by no means Walsh's finer efforts it is not as bad as the critics would have you believe.

The cover (a pastiche on Caspar David Friedrich's 'Two men contemplating the moon') is laughably outdated and not a good reflection  of Walsh's idiosyncratic, driving rock tracks looking more like a sleeve from a Caravan album. Whilst admittedly it is patchy and there are a few tunes that I am not mad keen on 'Problems' or '15 Years' which are quite rightly regarded as dross, I really like oft panned tunes like 'Broke my leg' (submerged in layers of Walsh's trademark ARP synthesiser and vocoder)  and the quirky lilt of 'Bubbles' (which could have been lifted from the Dave Lee Roth EP Crazy from the Heat). The lyrics are really not up to much but then again I have always listened to this artist for his music rather than his word-smithery. The stand out cut is the title track, a true power ballad straight from the golden age of the genre with building synthesisers, great guitar licks and wistful vocals.

Whilst the Confessor is no way near the heights of So What? and the sublime But Seriously…Folks?  it is not a bad cut and as such should be given the benefit of a good listen. I will award this one a 6/10, not quite good enough for the premier league but a pleasant enough album in any case.

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