Van Halen “A Different Kind Of Truth”- album review

Ok… so the wait is over and it’s finally here! The most anticipated album of all time 28 years in the making! The excitement and adrenaline are pumping as I put the cd into the player and wait for the new Van-Halen album to start up!! Unfortunately all of the excitement ended there.

Upon my first list to Van-halen’s new album “A Different Kind of Truth” (the bands first since 1998’s VH3 and their first with DLR since 1984) my initial reaction was “What a piece of shit!! This is the worst album I have heard in years!!” Then I composed myself, maybe I just wasn’t in DLR VH mode. After all it’s been such a long time. So I went back listened to all the DLR albums got my head in the right place and took a few more listens to “A Different Kind Of Truth”. Thankfully the album got much better, but still leaves some room for improvement.

The band needed to hit big with this album and while they didn’t knock it out of the park, they got a ground rule double. I don’t feel their heart was really in this album and it kinda shows. Most of the songs are 70’s demos reworked  that didn’t make any of the early albums. Now the good thing about that is that it gives the album a very classic sound and feel. The bad thing about it is that the band is working with their left-over shit which, if you’ve ever heard it, sucked pretty bad the first time!

The album however is not without it’s merits. Eddie’s playing is amazing as we all expect it to be and Alex and Wolfgang make-up a great rhythm section and bring a lot of funkiness (although Mike’s absence is heavily felt in the back-up vocal area).

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Track Listing-

1.) Tattoo– The first single of the album and most commercially accessible and for that reason alone was a good choice. Great groove, but lyrically cheesy. Kinda picks up where the tracks on the Greatest Hits album left off only a little more fun.

2.) She’s The Woman– Re-worked from a shitty demo from the 70’s. Major improvement!! Awesome intro, cool solo, classic VH!

3.) You And Your Blues– Classic VH with a modern edge. Love the Intro, more awesome playing by Eddie. Could feel at home on VH3.

4.) China Town– Another re-work. Awesome intro, very heavy, awesome solo, stupid lyrics. Takes a bunch of listens to get into, but worth it.

5.) Blood and Fire– OK, here we go!! This is more what I was waiting for!! Classic VH sound could have come right off of Women and Children First or Diver Down! Awesome Solo!

6.) Bullethead– This track took me a long time to get into, but eventually won me over. Another shitty demo re-worked, very heavy kind of VH doing punk rock!

7.) As Is– Vey heavy, big drum intro by Alex, vaguely reminiscent of “Naturally Wired” from OU812.

8.) Honey Baby Sweetie Doll– No matter how many times I hear it, this song just sucks ass!! Sounds like someone took a huge diarrhea shit and shoved it in my ears!! Definitely could have been left off the album!

9.) The Trouble With Never– Big and Groovy! Very commercial cool chorus lots of harmonies! Can see this being the bands next single.

10.) Outta Space– More classic VH!! Cheesey, but in a good way that only Dave can pull off! Dave’s high point on the album, and show’s why Eddie was a great innovator!

11.) Stay Frosty–  “Ice-Cream Man” revisited! Starts a bit blue-grassy then picks up. Dave at his best, more Classic VH. Another Great Eddie Solo!

12.) Big River– Another Groover, and more great Eddie guitar. Awesome solo! Shades of classic VH!

13.) Beats Workin’– Great 70’s rock, Monster riff’s  by Eddie. Very Raw sounding. You can definitely tell what decade this song was written in, but that all adds to the charm. Kind of reminds me of D.O.A from VH2.

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Stand-out Tracks-

You And Your Blues

Blood and Fire

The Trouble With Never

Outta Space

Stay Frosty

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I said before, that this album may take a few listens to really get into, and the funny thing about that is as I am writing this review I am giving the album my 6th listen and my opinion has changed drastically! After my first listen I was prepared to give this album a terrible review. After a few more listens I was going to give it an average review, but now as I am listening to it as I am writing this I ended up giving it a pretty dam good review!! A solid album… not their best but a hell of a lot better than I was expecting.

At first I had a hard time getting past Dave’s shitty lyrics. Then I remembered, that’s just Dave! He’s a shitty songwriter, but that’s why we love him! Eddie is a monster and played like a beast all over this album! Part of me wants to say that this album would have probably been better if it had just been and instrumental from beginning to end and am still curious how that would sound.

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Grade – B+

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    • Dave
    • February 9th, 2012

    I LOVE this new release, I am glad it was worth the wait…This Album KICKS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!

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