So. For the first time in 14 years as a band and 27 years as a band with David Lee Roth in it, Van Halen is releasing an album of all new material. When I first heard this news, I shrugged it off and went about my life confident I’d not think about Van Halen again until one of them does another stint in rehab. Then a funny thing happened. My twitter and facebook feeds started blowing up with folks talking about how good this new Van Halen album was. In the end, I couldn’t resist giving it a listen and decided, in the process, to give my opinion track by track on twitter as I listened for the first time.
Now, to be fair, you need to know that I was never a huge Van Halen fan. If you walked up and said, “Quick, name as many Van Halen songs as you can in 5 seconds!”, “Jump” is gonna be the only track I come up with. Peeking at Wikipedia it’s obvious I know many more, but that’s the only one that comes to mind and it brings back memories of me being 11 years old and sitting in front of a little single speaker cassette player/radio in my backyard. I think that’s worth keeping in mind as you read this break down.
Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth (in 140 or less characters at a time):
Tattoo: musically, okay. Lyrically, not so okay.
She’s The Woman: Sounds like it came right out of the heyday of hair metal. Think 1991 Arena Rock and you’ve nailed it’s sound.
You and Your Blues: I only need 1 word for this song: boring.
China Town: not bad. not bad at all. Rocks harder than any other 60 year old’s music. I’ll thumbs up this track considering.
Blood and Fire: This is the first time on the album they’ve felt like old men trying to rock instead of just rocking.
Bullethead: not bad. Fave from the cd so far.
As Is: This one has that classic David Lee Roth feel/swagger to it.
Honeybabysweetiedoll: ugh. bad song. 2 minutes in I had to press the skip button. First time I’ve done that on the album though.
The Trouble With Never: Another one right out of the 90’s arena rock sound.
Outta Space: Starts off promising but I didn’t even notice it end. Tried to listen twice. Same result.
Stay Frosy: The title says, “bad song”. The opening guitar says, “maybe not”. The title was honest & honestly, Dave ruins this song.
Big River: musically, you totally could have sold me that this was a George Lynch song. Honestly, this one is pretty good.
Beats Workin’: Despite the promising musical opening, this song fell flat on me. Again, I blame David Lee Roth for fucking it up.
And that concludes the Van Halen 140 character review. In the end, not horrific but I’ll never listen to it again…