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The End of the Innocence

Don Henley

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Album Review

Don Henley took some time before completing his highly anticipated third album, The End of the Innocence. Although he manages to duplicate much of the magic of his previous album, Henley has backed off of the synthesizers and expanded his musical palette. He uses background vocals to great effect, whether it's the tragic ballad "New York Minute" (with vocal group Take 6) or the angry rocker "I Will Not Go Quietly" (with Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses). His collaboration with Bruce Hornsby on the opening title track show a mature Henley singing about disillusionment over a beautiful piano riff that gives the song a timeless air of nostalgia. While he still tackles political issues and writes about small-town life in America, Henley also mixes in romantic ballads, including the closer "Heart of the Matter." In this epic song, Henley explores the emotional complexity of relationships and coming to terms with oneself during the aftermath. Throughout the album, he manages to balance being cynical yet hopeful, and his great melodies allow his poignant lyrics to penetrate. This album is highly recommended for those who like their pop music with a message.

Biography

Born: July 22, 1947 in Gilmer, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all of the Eagles, Don Henley had the most successful solo career. After the group initially broke up in 1982, Henley released his first solo album, I Can't Stand Still. Although it wasn't as successful as an Eagles record, the album performed respectably, launching the number three single "Dirty Laundry" and going gold. Building the Perfect Beast followed two years later and established Henley as a solo star in his own right. Featuring the Top Ten hits "Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants...
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