Album Review: “So What” by Joe Walsh
Joe Walsh for So What's album sleeve - Joe Walsh - Topic / Youtube
While Joe Walsh is most definitely known for his time with the Eagles. the notorious partying singer-songwriter also had a great time with his solo career. His albums, especially the third one So What, gained popularity due to its cohesiveness as an indulgent rocker, and knowing Walsh’s propensity for both hard and mellow compositions, made the album hit home to a lot of classic rock fans.
“Welcome To The Club” introduces you to the record with a tempestuous, mercurial quality that has the song abides by numerous rhythm shifts like it’s nobody’s business. “Falling Down” immediately tones it down with country tinge that goes well with the vocal harmony surrounding it, courtesy of future Eagles bandmate, Don Henley. Walsh goes symphonic and operatic with “Pavanne”, setting a tension-filled atmosphere with the stringed intro, while the dreamy progression of synths weaves in and out of solemnity. “Time Out” is quite reminiscent of his masterpiece “Rocky Mountain Way” with blues and country painting the landscape effectively. “All Night Laundry Mat Blues” is a cartoonish tune as Walsh pokes fun at public laundry woes.
“Turn To Stone” is a consummate rocker that showcases Walsh’s penchant for his guitar work, being one of the most underrated players around. “Help Me Through The Night” sounds more like an Eagles hit, as Glenn Frey and Don Henley participated in its creation, though it doesn’t leave Walsh’s signature sound out of the building. “County Fair” is a calculated, simmering track that matches the laid back cadence with an intense guitar drive. Lastly, “Song For Emma” has Walsh going sentimental over a beautiful piano and string chorus, showing his ability to switch from solid rockers to more ballad-like compositions.
Joe Walsh is a musical gem indeed, in and out of his time with bands and his solo career. While he was known to be excessive during his partying mood, Walsh didn’t pull punches in his creative spirit, penning one of the most underrated albums of 1975.