Walsh’s 1978 hit Life’s Been Good remains, to this day, the nearest thing he has to a signature tune: a joke-packed and self-mocking assessment of his place in the world as a millionaire rock star. Walsh was just 30 years old when he recorded it, and now, at the ripe old age of 64, he’s finally gotten round to writing a sequel of sorts.
Lucky That Way is one of two pivotal tracks on Walsh’s first solo album in over two decades, a second taking-stock of his life and the good things it’s brought him (“Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m still standing/And it feels pretty good to be me”). There’s a mellower vibe to Joe’s reflections now, though, with co-producer Jeff Lynne fashioning a sonic grandeur of strummed acoustic guitars and clipped lead breaks that recalls his work with Traveling Wilburys.
The other significant song is the title track, with Walsh poking fun at his own bafflement at the cyberspace digital age (“When something goes wrong I don’t have a clue/Some 10-year-old smartass hasn’t shown me what to do”). This is an album made by a man secure in his own skin, touching base with his rockier roots and subsequent years as an Eagle (Wrecking Ball, Funk 50) while strolling towards his autumn years with a smile on his face (Band Played On, One Day At A Time).