#389 – RS #500: Don Henley, The End Of Innocence


Don Henley The End Of Innocence

Release Date: 1989
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes

The End of Tasteful Late ’80s, Cusp Of Desktop Publishing Graphic Design” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Impressions: Okay, let’s give this a spin. (Listens) Hmmm, must have placed a Bruce Hornsby CD on by mistake…no? DON: “Hey Hornsby… don’t forget to bring over your piano and drum machine for this track.” Sounds like 1989 for sure, with a crisp, drum machine, tasteful pianos, and fretless bass. Not a hair out of place. (Looks at song listing) Wait, this album doesn’t even have “The Boys Of Summer?” Groan… this is gonna be a slog. For a drummer, Henley sure likes big, shitty ’80s drum sounds. Is that a blaring ’80s saxophone AND a soprano saxophone? Brrr. This album hasn’t aged well. Plus, it’s not even as fun as his early “Dirty Laundry” stuff. Oh man, “I Will Not Go Quietly” sounds like overbaked ’80s White Stripes. There might be an okay song somewhere in there if not for the production. I’d rather hear the demo (or nothing, frankly.) Ah, there’s Axel. Okay. Being generous, there might be a few okay songs lost amongst the ’80s glossy sounds. I mean, he’s not a bad tunesmith. I guess he’s got a lot of insightful lyrics, but I’m having trouble getting past the music. I keep changing my mind on “New York Minute,” ironic no? That chorus…ehhh. Certainly too long. Look, I enjoy a horrible reggae/rock mashup as much as the next guy, but “Little Tin God” is taking too long to warm up. TOO MUCH PRODUCTION! I’m done here. It’s The End of Music.

Starred Songs: “The End of Innocence,” I guess
Sneaky Track: “The Heart Of The Matter,” I guess
Should this album be on the list? No. I mean, who put this on here?
Replace With: I dunno, but maybe a choice Joe Walsh album might do the job or at least Henley’s Building The Perfect Beast would be a small improvement. Instead, I’ll go with Matthew Sweet’s excellent power-pop breakthrough Girlfriend which came out roughly the same time
Will You Listen To This Again: No
Verdict: Dated, middle of the road AOR that no doubt survives inside of a baby boomer’s multi CD changer in the trunk of their BMW convertible.

Rating:  ★1/2