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Eagles, The Long Road Out of Eden

Eagles Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit may all love music, but they don't make it collectively unless there's a mammoth payday involved. Maybe that's why their seventh studio LP, released through a profit-maximizing deal with Wal-Mart, seems more inspired by commerce than art. The exceptions to this rule come from Henley, the act's most ornery member. Although the Iraq-themed title track feels secondhand — betcha he researched it by watching CNN in his den — the wannabe epic gets a boost from Henley's pissiness, as does the decidedly bitchy "Frail Grasp of the Big Picture." (Vomit-inducing white-funk catastrophe "Fast Company" is all about anger, too — mine.) In contrast, Walsh's two offerings seem like toss-offs, and Schmit's efforts constitute ultra-bland filler. And Frey? The tunes he croons, including "How Long" and "No More Cloudy Days," mainly stick to the heavily diluted, extremely tedious country-rock formula that's made these guys as rich as pashas. They're less songs than cashier's checks, which they'll be taking to the bank very soon.

 
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