Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth (2012)
I’ve read every word printed between the year 2000 and now that was available about the new Van Halen album with DLR. I’ve been waiting patiently. The band tried once a decade ago and never got off the launch pad. Then Sammy came back. Then Sammy left. Then Mike was fired, and Wolfie was in.
And lemme tell you folks, Wolfie can PLAY. No offense to Mikey, the original, but Wolfie plays circles around him. And not only that, his chemistry with his dad (and uncle too) is infectious. Never before have you heard syncopated unison bass and guitar runs on a Van Halen album, not like this.
The star of the show is Edward Van Halen. I wanted to hear an album that made me say “Holy shit, how the hell did he do that?” And that’s what I said when I first heard “China Town” a couple weeks before the album came out.
The whole album is like that. Eddie is riffing, flying into a quick lick that sounds impossible, then back to the riff. Just like the old days. The album is largely (but not completely) based on unused Van Halen songs from the early 70’s and 80’s such as “Down In Flames” and “Ripley”. Now dubbed with new lyrics and titles (all but the smokin’ “She’s The Woman”), the band has sewn new life into these amazing tracks. With Wolfie’s pulsing bass, Ed’s impossible guitar, and Alex driving the whole thing, this who record smokes. Not one weak track.
Well, I know a lot of people didn’t like “Tattoo”. But fear not. New single it may be, but it’s far from the best track on this album. My faves include: “She’s The Woman”, “China Town”, “As Is”, and “Big River”. Still there are no songs that I would skip.
And Dave’s lyrics? Just as clever and cheaky as ever. While Dave waxes poetic on many songs, don’t expect him to suddenly want to deliver a message. Any messages about the state of the union (political or VH) have no place on A Different Kind Of Truth.
The acoustic DVD sucks, but Dave’s handwitten lyrics and drawings are awesome.
5/5 stars, ain’t talkin’ bout anything less