The test had arrived for Van Halen to commence on a path once again with David Lee Roth. Indeed, the band had for the most part, gotten their act together. Being a reunited front with the new line up of David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son the band had to deliver a new record for the Van Halen fans.
The test came when the record was released in February 2012. However, although on paper the songs were old, leftover rewrites, the record itself is an enjoyable listen, although not exactly a perfect record itself.
Van Halen have got back to work with a renewed and fresh approach to their music.
Picture courtesy http://loudwire.com/van-halen-launch-2012-north-american-tour/
The record begins with the trashy and enjoyable, “Tattoo”. Although the song is enjoyable, it wears out after successive listens. Still, it is way better than anything on Van Halen III, pure proof of the band’s new and more focused direction.
The glorious “She’s The Woman” is a much better song. It starts off with a brilliant guitar part, leading into a loud and catchy tune, with an interesting solo in the midsection. Not bad overall.
The chugging “You and Your Blues” follows, indicating a different side to the band’s repertoire of music. Entertaining and very listenable.
For the new Van Halen record, Eddie Van Halen used the latest in EVH Wolfgang guitars, an EVH USA Wolfgang Stealth which sounds loud and powerful as it does here.
Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-stealth-ebony-fingerboard-stealth-black-w-case/
The next song, “China Town” is rather awful. In a way it is sort of laughable, but sounds very ordinary indeed. For those who like skipping tracks, you may be best off doing so here.
“Blood and Fire” follows, which is another rather ordinary song with a forgettable chorus. Still it is miles better than anything that Van Halen have recorded since Balance.
The pseudo-thrash of “Bullethead” follows, rather strangely catchy. It is a loud, full on roar of a song. Good listening.
Eddie Van Halen himself is back on track and happier than ever to create new music.
Picture courtesy https://www.celebritydiagnosis.com/people_tag/eddie-van-halen/
“As Is” continues the rather nonsensical lyrics that seem to dominate this album. Indeed, some of the older Van Halen fans may be disappointed by this approach to lyric writing, yet is very musically viable indeed.
The rather boring and forgettable “Honeybabysweetiedoll” makes as much sense as it sounds by the song title, and the song itself. It seems as though Van Halen had put the worst tracks on the first half of this record…
It is fantastic to see Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen part of the Van Halen crew, a remarkably musically talented young man.
Picture courtesy http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-wolfgang-van-halen-talks-bass-different-kind-truth-and-more
Next up, “The Trouble with Never” is a rather good and catchy piece which demonstrates how wonderful and well respected Eddie Van Halen should be considered and deserves every bit of respect for his great guitar skills on it. Not bad at all.
“Outta Space” is obviously a rework, but not a bad one at that. Deeming indeed that the earth is full, it continues the nonsensical slur of lyrics that predominates the album.
The “Ice Cream Man” of this record, “Stay Frosty” is an anti-religious and reveals that in life, one must Stay Frosty in terms of laidback attitude. Starting off acoustically, it becomes a loud and rocking song that is well served.
David Lee Roth and the three Van Halens have successfully buried the majority of issues between each other and work cohesively together as a unit with great success.
Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2012/02/16/van-halen-allowing-fans-to-shoot-photos-video-at-shows/
“Big River” follows, which is a good rework of one of the songs on the Van Halen Zero demo. With all these wonderful songs here, one must think that the wait for a new Van Halen record was sure worth it.
The last, loudest and heaviest, and most likely, the best song of the album “Beats Workin’” shows Eddie Van Halen at his best. Indeed, those many years of tone chasing per se have proved that EVH himself can create a monstrous and undeniably brilliant sound. Legendary.
As long as their efforts continue with this new approach, Van Halen will continue to survive well into the 21st century.
Picture courtesy https://wallpapersafari.com/free-van-halen-logo-wallpapers/
Overall, the critics all agreed that this was a good, though not great, effort from Van Halen. Indeed, it has been many years between the previous Van Halen III and the A Different Kind of Truth record. Despite all this, it is a solidly good record that shows the future direction of a reworked and re-energised band. Well done.