Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Don Henley-Building the perfect beast

Building the perfect beast
The Eagles are obviously considered a classic band. That said, Don Henley is the brightest, most original member of that band as a solo artist. He has only released three studio cds since 1982, and all of them are excellent recordings. His latest, Otherwise, is due in about a month, and I, like other fans, have waited 11 long years for this. Building the Perfect Beast (BTPB), is, I think, his best recording to date. Why? Well, aside from the hits "Boys of Summer", "All She Wants To Do Is Dance", "Not Enough Love In The World", "Driving With Your Eyes Closed" and "Sunset Grill" it has great album tracks like "Man With A Mission", "A Month of Sundays", "Land Of The Living", "Building The Perfect Beast" and "You're Not Drinking Enough." All the eleven tracks come together to form a classic cd. The recording quality and choice of instruments is excellent. It still sounds fresh 16 years later. The lyrics and music work together to form a more cohesive cd than 1982's I Can't Stand Still. While 1989's The End of the Innocence is probably more mature and refined than BTPB, BTPB has more edge to it, and possibly a fresher sound overall. I think any rock collector should not only have The Eagles, but should also have all three Henley (soon to be four) cds. However, if you only have money for one, Building the Perfect Beast is the one to own. Although I Can't Stand Still is a more introspective collection it weighs heavier with Country cliches and seems much like an amateur Eagles set, with several themes seeming to fit Glenn Frey's stronger Country influence. Building the Perfect Beast showed the world that Don had his own style and themes that were clearly distinct and at times more sophisticated than Frey's or the Eagles' collective artistry.

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