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  1. #1
    Eruption VanJuJu's Avatar
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    08.24.15 @ 08:58 AM
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    Default "Van Halen: The Greatest Rock Comeback of All-Time"

    I found this story at http://www.inquirelive.co.uk/node/4553#comment-20702 -- and felt like some of you might enjoy it.

    "Van Halen: The Greatest Rock Comeback of All-Time?"

    "Queen are headlining this year’s Download Festival with American Idol singer Adam Lambert. Black Sabbath were due to reunite until drummer Bill Ward decided he wanted some more money. The Beatles were the sixth best selling artist or group last year, just above Paul McCartney.

    In the midst of a time where classic-rock is making a huge comeback (or is reminding us that it never really left), one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time has decided to rear its head and show its teeth. They were announced at every show as “The MIGHTY Van Halen!”

    Ah, Van Halen. The band that has gone through three lead singers, eleven studio albums, eighty million records and millions of fans – have only recently broken their fourteen year silence (their last album released in 1998). If anything, this ten tonne bomb of an album, A Different Kind of Truth (Interscope), didn’t just break their silence, it utterly destroyed it.

    28 years after the last album with David Lee Roth, A Different Kind of Truth is exactly the album Van Halen fans wanted: “Selfishly, we don’t want Van Halen to evolve, we want them to pick up where they left off.” (VHND) The most gratifying aspect to the new VH record is the combination of old and new styles, putting a contemporary edge onto the romanticised sound of their early days. Fans were originally critical that a number of songs on the album were cut from 70s demos that have been circulating the internet for years, but the band have added a 21st Century sheen to these old demos, and have skillfully reworked them. Most importantly, they have given rock fans a lesson in history – this is how to do a comeback album. Subvert all expectation and blow the minds of anyone who cares to listen.

    Lead single “Tattoo” ( ) was retrospectively a strange choice to announce a return to the rock podium. A mid-paced bluesy number that is more reminiscent of Roth’s solo material than anything done by the band before, yet due to the trademark guitar licks from Eddie [Van Halen, guitarist], it punches well above its weight. It wouldn’t sound out of place within the top 40 - the underlying, oozing synth, charming harmonies and dense, double tracked vocals gives it a contemporary sound, but doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the much harder-edged material on the record.

    The first demo-remake of the album and current single, “She’s The Woman” ( ) provides a viewing of Roth’s abilities as a lyricist - “This suburban ménage e trios was worth exploring” – and the delivery and enthusiasm more than make up for any weak images in the song. Here we view a tight-knit group that are, thankfully, extremely comfortable with classic sounding material.

    The band’s new-found comfort manifests in the fact that the album is strikingly efficient, taking a more smash-and-grab approach to the song content than in previous records. It’s heavy, uncompromising and unashamedly rooted in the knowledge that this is high-octane fan service. The aggressive, bold approach ties in with the blueprint found in their classic material. Whilst many songs adhere to the intro-verse-chorus-solo method, there are some surprises left up Eddie Van Halen’s sleeve after all these years. “As Is” ( ) is perhaps Van Halen’s greatest homage to their heavy metal and hard rock influences. Roth’s vocal delivery is deep and masterful, and the harmonics squeezed out by Eddie are sustained in an extremely satisfying way.

    Perhaps the greatest feat for the band was getting the production right. The guitar and vocals ride high in the mix, but the punchy, deep bass tones give a balance to the album that has never been heard before on a VH record. Traditionally, production on Van Halen albums has suffered from tinny trebles and a distinct lack of anything low end – but fortunately, no longer. This is helped by new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen [Eddie’s son], who definitely holds more than just a pocket groove. He has improved exponentially since the last tour (2007-8), and if the tapping intro on “China Town” and bass breakdown of “Beats Workin’” is anything to go by, he certainly has the talent of his father.
    It must be remembered that these guys are pushing 60 now. Their maturity has shown through their music, yet they’ve also come to the vital understanding that most of their fans have grown with them. A Different Kind of Truth isn’t just a great comeback record, it’s a quintessential rock album that any music lover should own."

    Springfield, MASS. - Hartford, CONN. =VH= Fans UNITE!

  2. #2
    Eruption VanJuJu's Avatar
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    08.24.15 @ 08:58 AM
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    Default

    Personally, I find that review right on the money.

    I'dd add that the only rock comeback album of comparable quality that I've heard is Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature," (2000.)

    In my opinion, what makes Van Halen's achievement all the more impressive is two-fold: 1) the band's music is inherently youthful, and to state the obvious: Van Halen is no longer young, (well, it's 1/4 young). The words "Van Halen" conjure images of teen rebellion for millions of people (e.g. for anyone who's seen "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," lol). This may be the most graceful aging of a non-blues-based rock band, which isn't anomalous like Rush.

    2) Van Halen's last album was a debacle, its BOBW tracks were not its strongest by any means, and the band's two previous two albums hinted at formula. I'm not sure that even many die-hard fans thought that Van Halen had this album in them. Personally, I'm a bigger Van Halen fan now than ever because of "A Different Kind of Truth." I think it's a vindication of Van Halen's legacy.

    In my opinion, this album deserves every accolade.
    Last edited by VanJuJu; 04.11.12 at 03:07 AM.
    Springfield, MASS. - Hartford, CONN. =VH= Fans UNITE!

  3. #3
    Eruption PT 5150's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 05:40 PM
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    Default

    Great review.
    ITS 5150 TIME

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 05:57 PM
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    Default

    A buddy of mine when listening to it said "they sound like a young band".

    I think that sums it up perfectly. They just don't sound like a bunch of 55 year olds.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

    DONATE TO THE LINKS YA CHEAP BASTARDS!!!!

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 02:16 PM
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    After hearing the album the first time a couple months ago, I was totally blown away. I told a friend of mine that this is an amazing comeback album. He agreed 100%.

    Is the greatest of all-time? I am biased but I think it is. Especially if you compare 2004 Eddie to 2012 Eddie.
    Remember the Heroes - 9/11/01

    In 2012, the phoenix has risen!!

    "High speed, low drag."

    "Look at all the people here tonight!!!" - 10/5/07, 5/20/08 Mohegan Sun

    Congratulations to Van Halen as part of the Class of 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

    Cinco de Cabo @ Foxwoods: "A giant party with live music" - S. Hagar

    got tequila?

    http://keepitaliveforever.com

  6. #6
    Little Dreamer Iggie Lee Roth's Avatar
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    08.12.17 @ 11:38 PM
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    I'd say AC/DC would have some say in the matter after they reappeared following an 8 year hiatus but as they are 2 of my favourite bands we'll agree to split hairs

  7. #7
    Good Enough Hack's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 06:50 AM
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    Default ..

    that review is right on the money. i couldn't have written it better myself.
    ...AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY, GOD CREATED VAN HALEN

    VAN HALEN IS A LIFESTYLE

  8. #8
    Romeo Delight The Roth Era's Avatar
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    11.14.14 @ 09:16 AM
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    The fact that this album, so fucking great, comes 28 freakin' years after they last made a proper album with DLR is mind boggling to me every time I think about it.
    Between a Roth and a Hard Place...

  9. #9
    Little Dreamer
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    03.07.15 @ 09:16 PM
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    I knew it was gonna be great,its van halen for God's sake! They did alot of prep for this. I.e. surgeries and waiting for wolf to mature as a player and human being
    . And I liked the shout out to steely Dan, my other favorite artist!

  10. #10
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 11:13 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VanJuJu View Post
    Personally, I'm a bigger Van Halen fan now than ever because of "A Different Kind of Truth." I think it's a vindication of Van Halen's legacy.

    In my opinion, this album deserves every accolade.
    I don't know if I'm a bigger fan than ever...but it sure feels like 1979 to me.

  11. #11
    Eruption Spool's Avatar
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    12.08.17 @ 07:21 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpospoke View Post
    I don't know if I'm a bigger fan than ever...but it sure feels like 1979 to me.
    Pretty much sums it up in one line ... although I would have to sub out 79 for 81 ... me being just mid 40's

  12. #12
    Hot For Teacher Lupercal's Avatar
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    12.11.15 @ 10:08 AM
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    Holy shit,

    I WROTE THAT.

    Amazing what you guys dig up on the internet.

    I wrote that for my university newspaper website. I knew the editor wanted some stuff online, so I thought that there was no better entertainment article than one about Van Halen.

    Being in England, and 21 years old, my peers aren't exactly VH-savvy. They don't know who the band are, they probably don't think they are a ground-breaking group, and they get sick and tired of me harping on about them all the time. The fact that the album was on the front page of Spotify for a week or more suggested that given a shove in the right direction, people might actually give this album a listen and realise what amazing music these guys have just created. I was annoyed that I had to put everything in some sort of context, but for casual readers, its what you have to do (and why its rammed full of youtube clips - if people could listen, they'd probably enjoy it)

    I always thought that the paper could do with more articles that I'd want to read - I thought, what would I like to see on this website? Van Halen. It was a labour of love, took ages to try and set things right with the article so that its readable and not just a young fan swooning over a fantastic rock album.

    As for the greatest comeback of all time - the fact that the band kind of dipped in the popularity polls and then just straight flew off the radar, suggests that they're doing this for the right reasons and giving fans a proper dose of what they're capable of. No other band that I can think of has done this as well as Van Halen have, and no other band's rising from the ashes is as important either!

    Guys - thank you very much for your kind words and for taking the time to not only dig this up but to read it too. How on earth did you find it?
    If I told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about what I've gone through over the last 20 odd years, what it took to finally get where I am, people just wouldn't fucking believe it. So it's pointless. I now realize that I can't change people's minds, and I really don't want to or need to try. I'm at peace with it, and that's all that matters. - Edward Van Halen

  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher ArtHarm6505's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 01:28 PM
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    Congrats! That was a GREAT review.

    It's nice to see a review written by someone who knows what he is talking about as well. So many reviews are written by people because their papers told them to, it seems, who get a lot of details wrong. To these people, do some research and be more responsible.

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium Harpospoke's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 11:13 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupercal View Post
    (and why its rammed full of youtube clips - if people could listen, they'd probably enjoy it)
    That was a nice touch...including links to the music...gotta love the internet.

  15. #15
    Little Dreamer
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    06.21.13 @ 04:22 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupercal View Post
    Holy shit,

    I WROTE THAT.
    Now up on vhblast.com too =)

 

 

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