Released: 2012, Interscope
Reviewer: Celtic Bob
Van Halen have released the most anticipated album of all-time. The fans have wanted this album to happen since 1985 when singer David Lee Roth parted ways with the Van Halen camp. After 28 years it has finally become a reality and a Roth fronted Van Halen album has hit the shelves.
The expectations for this album were massively high. Fans of the real VH have been wanting this to happen for years. We hoped for the best and deep down we hoped it wouldn’t be a train wreck. When we were teased with video snippets and a 30 second sound-bite of “Tattoo” many were pleased but it just didn’t really command your attention. Once the full single was released the anticipation just grew. This was going to be THE album of the year.
Release day finally came and I rushed out to get it even though a copy was en route in the post. Immediately I put it on and “Tattoo” just blared out of the Polk Audio speakers of the truck. Van Halen was back. I waited 28 years for a new Van Halen disc and they delivered it. This disc is the follow-up to 1984. It has elements of classic VH but is fresh and new. The songs all rock in true VH fashion. If you are looking for something groundbreaking, mind blowing or innovative then look elsewhere. This is pure, classic Rock n Roll, and it don’t get no better than this. Since it’s release this disc has yet to get placed on the shelf. It is always close to the stereo and in the vehicle. It is even on the ipod in lossless for work.
One thing that had me concerned was that Michael Anthony would not be a part of it so it is not a true Van Halen reunion but with that said the ‘Voice’ is back. Like many fans we were skeptical if Wolfgang could cut it as Michael’s playing and background vocals were a big part of the band’s signature sound. Well no need to worry folks, Wolfie does a fine job and surprisingly Anthony is not really missed.
The Van Halen brothers are playing the best they have in years. I have always said that Eddie needs Dave to bring out the best in him and this album proves that statement. He hasn’t played this good since 1984. As for Alex, his playing is simply amazing. He is just a madman on the drums. Fantastic drumming but a shitty sound. You’d think with his talent and resources he would demand a heavy and killer drum sound? One of my few complaints about this disc. The other is with the overall sound of it. The album just cries out for a better mastering. As much as you want to crank this album up you can’t as it is just hard on the ears.
A killer album with a couple of flaws. The music is just amazing, too bad we had to wait so long for it. Hopefully we don’t have to wait that long for the next one.