June 05, 2000 12:00 PM

Don Henley (Warner Bros.)

These days, Don Henley is married, the father of two and eager to declare (as he does on the tune “Everything Is Different Now”), “I hate to tell you this, but I’m very, very happy.” And yet contentment has done nothing to soothe the former Eagle’s rage. In fact, most of the songs on Inside Job—his first album in 11 years—vent bile on the usual shadowy cast of suspects: politicians, corporate bigwigs and (especially) anyone who has ever said anything unkind about Don Henley. “Chalk it up to business as usual,” he grumbles in the title track.

In previous outings, Henley leavened his righteousness with enough humanity to steer away from sanctimony. Unfortunately, this collection of sleek, R & B-inflected pop tunes sounds as soulless as the demons he complains about. Despite a couple of sweet songs about his children and the pensive “For My Wedding” (which he didn’t write), the album finds Henley sounding churlish and bored, revisiting themes he wrote better songs about in the past, before marital bliss turned him into such a grump.

Bottom Line: The noise of bummer

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