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Van Halen returns; new album, old vocalist

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(Coming back with a vengeance, this rock band hits the studio to record first full-length album since 1998)

 

In January of 2011 the impossible had begun to happen, much to the excitement of rock fans everywhere: iconic band Van Halen was recording a new album with their original vocalist David Lee Roth.

Fans thought they would never see the day, as the last Van Halen album with Roth on vocals was released 28 years ago.

Along with that, the band had not released a full-length album since 1998.

The albums first single, “Tattoo,” was released in early January, and then was followed up a month later with their highly anticipated album, titled “A Different Kind of Truth”.

“Tattoo” received mixed reviews from critics but some fans found the song to be lacking in the signature Van Halen ‘oomph.’

Other songs such as “Big River” and “She’s The Woman” were revamped works from early demos of the band, dating as far back as the late ‘70’s.

While the 13 tracked album offers a dose of nostalgia for fans there also seems to be a severe lack of pizzazz.

Some washed up and questionable tongue-in-cheek lyrics are present through out the album and while guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen brings catchy riffs and his signature slashing solos to the tracks, there seems to be something missing.

Perhaps it’s the absence of original bassist Marc Anthony whose shoes are being filled by Eddie Van Halen’s 20-year-old son, Wolfgang Van Halen.

Without Anthony the band lost his uncanny ability to lay down some perfect harmonies to Roth’s vocals.

Tracks like “Stay Frosty,” “Beats Workin,” “China Town,” and “Tattoo” failed to assure the starry-eyed hope that ‘Diamond Dave’ and the crew were back and ready to take over the world.

Though the album has received mixed reviews, it would seem that fans were so amped by the return of the Roth fronted Van Halen that they were willing to accept any music the band had to offer.

“As Is” and “Honeybabysweet- iedoll” were the only tracks that captured the real down and dirty Van Halen.

Tracks “Blood and Fire” and “You and Your Blues” were found to be a halfway decent listen.

Where the band lacked musi- cally, they make up for it with their showmanship.

David Lee Roth still has the power to capture the audience with his cartoon character approach to live shows, providing a highly enjoyable performance to live shows.

Van Halen are currently embarking on a world tour in support of the album and live videos have reassured fans of their status as one of the best live bands in rock history.

If you wish to indulge in the highly enjoyable live performance that the band has to offer, they will be at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday May 5.

 

Written by: Ashley Dixon/Staff Writer

Photos by: Van Halen Album Covers- ‘Tatoo’ and ‘1984’/Courtesy Photos

 

 

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