mon 24/06/2024

CD: Van Halen - A Different Kind of Truth | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Van Halen - A Different Kind of Truth

CD: Van Halen - A Different Kind of Truth

The world's favourite hair-metal band proves a little too old for this kind of thing

Van Halen: download the best, leave the rest

Not many realise it, but Diamond Dave and the Van Halen brothers have actually been back together since 2007. It’s true they only actually managed one tour before Eddie was back in rehab. But, boy, by all accounts, what form they were in. So, now they’ve recorded a new album together, is it worth getting? The bad news is that no amount of wishful thinking can alter that, now in their fifties, these guys no longer really convince with their inimitable, high-octane slacker-rock.

You won’t read that on the internet VH forums, though. There, relief that the band has, at last, produced something better than the God-awful Van Halen III has lead to gushing that this is 1984 part II. But there really isn’t much of interest here, certainly not for the casual fan. To be more precise there are, in fact, two good songs - “You and Your Blues” and “Stay Frosty” - but the latter is so clearly an alternative version of 1977’s “Ice-Cream Man” I’m not sure it counts.

It’s been widely reported that many of the songs on A Different Kind of Truth are reworkings of old demos. The record company won’t say which, but my money’s on the two above and another four that are passable but, ultimately, forgettable: “Tattoo”, “Blood and Fire”, “The Trouble with Never” and “Beats Workin'”. The other seven are often just noisy, and feel like they're going through the motions, without yesteryear's wit. Eddie’s former carefree effortless virtuosity, in particular, seems forced and, in places, more like one of his many imitators.

Still, it isn’t all bad news. Elsewhere the fretboard pyrotechnics are reassuringly tasteful and Lee Roth’s implausibly high-pitched screams are pretty much intact. But the smartest thing to do with A Different Kind of Truth is, surely, cherry-pick the best for download and save the rest of the cash for a hot dog when the tour comes to the UK.

Judge for yourself if they've still got it. Watch the video for "Tattoo" below

Now in their fifties, these guys no longer really convince with their inimitable, high-octane slacker-rock


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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From all accounts, I take it you weren't actually there to see for yourself. The 07-08 show I saw was fantastic and this album is solid. Who cares what ages they are, they still rock and thats the bottom line. Stay frosty!

I think your review is more rushed than this album. Before you criticize someone else's work check your own. It's not REALISE it's realize. You couldn't be more off on your review. First off, You and Your Blues, Stay Frosty, As Is, The Trouble With Never, honeybabysweetiedoll, and China Town are all new and not reworkings. Second, Old? They sound better than most rock bands today. Lastly, your comment about Eddie sounding like an imitator is ABSOLUTELY ABSURD! He plays as fast on this album if not faster than when he was 22 years old! That's not rushing sir, that's called greased lightning!!! Stick to Elton or George Michael.

Wow, that song and video are dreadful. Really plodding. I'll be avoiding this...

Thats good to know Chris, I dont want to see jerkoffs at the show.

The "truth" is ..that you can't handle this album, is way out off your lead...too didn't get it....better stick with lady gaga...or seems thats your kinda music... How the hell did you "honestly" wrote this crap review!!.....when you aren't a rock fan!.....and if you are area a very sissy one. "The other seven are often just noisy" ....let me tell ya, all that noise you talk about its name hard rock...and sounds way better than most of now a day's rock bands. most reviews I read, despise the same tracks you recommend, and do welcome the noise you talk about...shame on ya.

Well, either the author of the farticle above is a Van Hagar fan or simply forgot to listen to the album when he was awake! Based on Tattoo alone he may have some reason to knock the contents of the entire album but to omit so much of what is on offer on A Different Kind Of Truth beggars belief! No mention that Wolfgang Van Halen keeps the bassline tight throughout...not a word about Alex`s energetic and explosive drumming... And even though Tattoo is not the strongest track on the album it certainly rocks pretty hard in its own right. Cool lyrics, too! I wonder what it is that the writer thinks is worthy of praise... Bucks Fizz? One must be permitted to muse. Eddie`s axe bleeds for us all over everything! It cuts, chops and shreds with real venom! EVH will have given tableture writers a headache and will also be driving even experienced rockers scurrying back to the drawing board! Hehe! All in all, a truly fantastic album! It will become a benchmark for older rockers on how to make a return to former glory! Not one shred of embarrassment in having this CD in your player blowing out the neighbours` windows! Heck, you can hang the case on the wall and it will still rock harder than some of the tired acts out there!! Long live Van Halen!!!!!!!

van halens new album is the beging of new rock,real rock n roll no more shoegazers ,and fat wallflowers adele,like her but shes the new petula clarck ,rockn -n-fun van halen

Of all the reviews I have read, this is pathetic. This is Hard Rock not a sing a long Like a Virgin Madonna song. Lady GaGa is what you looked for in a hard rock band? A history on music for you: The band broke as an island in a sea of disco. The adlib that you mention in the following paragraph is an homage to Eminem. He had a song where he asked for more volume in his headset. DLR even references the confusing part of the song in reference to Hip Hop. In one interview, he claims the band is again an island in a sea of music. Five tracks are reworked. Eight are new creations. Three to four songs rank among the best in the catalog. I do not expect you to have the reverence for the band that some of us long time fans do. But please research prior to reviewing. This reminds me of a hack piece done on a local garage band with under a thousand cd's sold out of a trunk. This band has sold over 80 million records. How about an hours worth of google research. You even complain about up tempo music from a hard rock group. Like going to church and complaining about having to listen to someone at the pulpit preach. Tattoo is a great example. It is a statement about the trashy tramp stamps in one color that some women get compared to the reverential status of a union number on the shoulder of a union member. He even uses a coal miners tattoo as an example in contrast. Not really a tattoo but a permanent facial skin blotching brought on from years in a coal mine. I have no idea how you could not sing with That's the trouble with never or Tattoo. They are both stuck in my head. Sadly you hang this on Eddie for showing off. One of the things that *** Dave off was 1984 and it's keyboard. He thought it was to soft for Van Halen. He went his way and the dark side of the moon, Van Hagar pop rock years begun. Highlights on the record for those concerned. Stay Frosty. The start is so far away from this reviewer opinion it is laughable. NO EDDIE. David Lee Roth with an acoustic guitar. In the style of Ice Cream Man. "If you want to become a monk, you got to cook a lot of rice" Spirituality thru work. The trouble with never is a favorite. An incredible song. The reviewer apparently never heard eruption. A legendary performance from the past and much more indulgent to Ed then anything on the album. Wolfgang van Halen can play the h*** out of the bass and is great in harmony on several of the songs. Imagine if the Beatles had broken up. Then got back together decades later and made some of the best music of their brand. Pop. This my issue with the review. Pop = Beatles, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Hip Hop = Jay z, Eminem. Hard Rock = Van Halen. To mix the two in a review is like mixing oil and water. They don't mix.

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