Eagles

Long Road out of Eden (ERC)

Phases & Stages

Eagles

Long Road out of Eden (ERC)

Fitting that the Eagles' first studio gathering since 1979's The Long Run should be a Wal-Mart exclusive, since the entire 2-CD affair is a generic sprawl aimed for the largest (read: lowest) common denominator. Following the tepid harmonies of opener "No More Walks in the Wood," disc one commences by literally excavating the 1970s on J.D. Souther's "How Long." Familiar with "Take It Easy" appeal, the single, like nearly every song, calculates an endless recall of earlier hits, contemporizing neither sound nor sentiment, and polished to innocuousness. Embracing their soft-rock legacy with "I Don't Want to Hear Any More," "What Do I Do With My Heart," and "No More Cloudy Days," the emotions are at best insipid, at worst juvenile. Disc two fares better, but barely. Joe Walsh's tedious, seven-minute "Last Good Time in Town" is a sad Steely Dan conclusion to "Rocky Mountain Way," and political invectives "Frail Grasp on the Big Picture" and the title track offer clichéd rants without substance. Supposedly six years in the writing, which dates to Sept. 11, 2001, Long Road's "Peaceful Easy Feeling" deflects any real confrontation while gesturing indignation. Safe, comfortable, and utterly numbing.

**

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