As Long as I Have You was a long time coming for Roger Daltrey. Set aside the fact that it’s his first solo album since 1992’s Rocks in the Head: the album was nearly four years in the making, started after his 2014 Wilko Johnson collaboration, Going Back Home, and not released until June of 2018. During that time, Daltrey battled viral meningitis, a struggle that had him on the verge of ditching the record, but his old Who cohort Pete Townshend heard some rough mixes and encouraged the singer to finish, volunteering his services as a session musician. Townshend’s presence may suggest that he contributed original songs, but that’s not the case. He’s strictly a guitarist, playing rhythm on the soul covers that dominate As Long as I Have You. While the album isn’t strictly covers — Daltrey co-wrote two sentimental tunes, “Certified Rose” and “Always Heading Home” — the record is built upon older material, songs that allow Daltrey to tie his past to the present. He chooses some songs that date back to the ’60s, when he was just starting out as a singer — Joe Tex’s “The Love You Save”; the title track, which was originally cut by Garnet Mimms — and balances them with his ’70s contemporaries (Stephen Stills’ “How Far,” Boz Scaggs’ “I’ve Got Your Love,” Stevie Wonder’s “You Haven’t Done Nothing”) along with Nick Cave’s “Into My Arms.” Daltrey stumbles upon the latter — it’s too somber and stately for his style — but the rest of the record finds him in a fleet fashion, alternating between soulful testifying and empathy. Like Going Back Home before it, As Long as I Have You benefits from Daltrey’s diminished range, as it adds gravity and grit to his interpretation. This album also benefits from its tight backing band, which is graced with a swinging horn section but distinguished by Townshend playing a secondary, sympathetic role to Daltrey, helping to give this muscular, occasionally moving record an air of grace.