I don’t need to tell you all that we are truly getting somewhere with this next album. Van Halen was of course one of the greatest pop metal groups of the 1980s and had one of the greatest guitarists of all time, too. They were enormously influential for other 1980s metal groups. During the mid 1980s they switched vocalists and Sammy Hagar was the new lead vocalist, instead of David Lee Roth who had brought them to fame. Then during the mid 1990s they switched out Sammy Hagar for Gary Cherone. They made one album with Gary Cherone, which wasn’t too good and after that they kept bouncing back and forth for the next fifteen years between David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar but never more than making a couple of songs for compilations with both of them. Then in fall of 2010 it was announced they had settled on David Lee Roth as a stead vocalist for the group and were planning on making a new album. It took them a year and a half for them to come out with their new album they had announced and during 2011 I was wondering if they would ever get that album released. I was also listening to Chickenfoot at the time with some of the previous members of Van Halen in it. Unfortunately, that group’s output for songs is not as good as it probably should be. Are they even still around anymore?
Van Halen finally came out with their new album in spring of 2012 and it was quite the big deal. I was one of many people who eagerly went to stores to purchase their new album and was pissed that Adele sold more than they did. People these days and their taste in music… Honestly. They also had a big concert that my dad came down for. It was the second concert I had ever been to behind REO Speedwagon and was the best concert I’ve ever been to, even more than ZZ Top the summer of that same year and Slash a year later. How good was the album, though?
Tattoo is an enthusiastic song and great opener for the album. She’s the Woman is a hard rocking, fast moving song. You and Your Blues is pretty average. China Town is also pretty average.
TYhen this album really picks up with the poignant, inspirational next song on the list called Blood and Fire. This is quite the song about Van Halen’s come back and has quite the blazing guitar solo. Van Halen is at its current best with this song definitely. It sounds a lot like Top of the World, which was another one of my favorite songs. Bullethead is frenetic but not nearly as good as the previous song on the album. As Is has a count off and then launches into another rocker. Honey Baby Sweety Doll has a futuristic, garbled, funky sound to it.
The Trouble With Never is a great song about how its problematic to put things off and how you should pursue your ambitions while you still can. Outer Space is a great rocker about future technology. Stay Frosty starts off with some acoustic guitar and is the softest song on the album, which really isn’t saying much because this entire album will rock your socks off, but has some interesting lyrics about monks and stuff, which shows David Lee Roth could write a decent song when he wanted to. For some reason Big River is quite the song in my opinion, too. On the surface it seems like just another rocker, but for some reason this song really grips me. Maybe because it’s one of those songs that makes me think of a clear picture in my mind of going on an adventure with my friends. It’s also inspirational like Blood and Fire, just in a more personal sort of way. Beats Working is actually my least favorite song on the album because it is way too heavy and is not a strong way to finish the album.
Over all Van Halen’s newest album is a great representation and come back for the group because it rocks from start to finish, has their style written all over it and is quite entertaining, a great way to begin one of my favorite years.