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Thread: A Critique: VH3

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Now before this seems to people like it's an ordinary "let's bash VH3 some more" thread I want to make my intention perfectly clear here. I've been listening to the album over the past week since I was in the mood for something a little different and came to the conclusion that there actually "are" some good moments on the record... although not too many. Also, since this is my 500th post I wanted to post something a little more formal instead of "yeah i agree, ain't talkin' bout love is a good song" etc.
    I will attempt to take the elements from each song that strike me to be the most important and give my own review/critique on the songs.
    Here we go...

    1. New World - This one starts off with a real nice melody and shows that the album has promise. Despite the fact that the tune sounds really similar to the intro to Tesla's "Love Song" and at times, Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" I doubt it was intentional. A lot of clinky and clanking going on in this one though. At one point it actually sounds like a grandfather clock fell over but it didn't sound too loud and probably didn't cause too much damage. Overall, I give it a B- .

    2. Without You - A pretty hard rocking song that starts off with a generic drumbeat heard in more songs than I count but again, gives one the idea that the album has promise. The lyrics seem to be some obvious statement to Sammy Hagar about how everything is his fault I suppose. One line that is particularly annoying is "hey fool, wake up, bettah late than nevah." Although it sounds stupid, the worst thing about it is the cliche. Every line has a 100 year old cliche in it. I was expecting to hear "you drive me up a wall" or something along those lines but never did (came close though.) Guitar playing is pretty tasty though. Not that great but still decent. Overall, B .

    3. One I Want - This song has a really good groove to it and the band sounds comfortable playing this one. A bit of an uptempto rocker that has a wierd vocal style but for the most part seems to work. Eddie's guitar playing sounds full and alive especially the fill after the first set of verses. As far as the lyrics go, "white man - trying to get a tan?" What this has to do with anything I have no idea. I think some of this song might be autobiographical though. "Gayman - searching for another" (this seems to be in reference to Gary) - He needs a date. Overall, B+ .

    4. From Afar - Here's where things fall apart. After a pretty snazzy intro Eddie manages to fuck it up with this crappy muted section on the treble strings that totally screws up the ryhthm (*spelling?) to the riff. The verse section is absolutely unlistenable. No groove, no beat, no nothing. All we get is this shitty stacato crap that goes nowhere with stupid words. From Afar what? What is "from afar?" Some girl or something? Also, how is she gonna whisper "in his ear" so he knows that "he/she is near" if she is supposedly "from afar?" Overall, D+ .

    5. Dirty Water Dog - As if we need any
    more proof that this isn't the same band that it used to be we get a song about politics of all things. Van Halen talking about politics? Hmmm, either they really aren't talking about politics or maybe it really isn't Van Halen. An annoying drum intro, shitty sounding guitar, a beat that sounds like a ripoff of Michael Jackson's "Beat It", and yup you guessed it - bad lyrics all equate to absolute shit. Overall, D .

    6. Once - The piano reminds me of the ending of GNR's "Locomotive" which happens to be a really good song. The difference between these two songs is that one is good and the other isn't. Unfortunately for Van Halen "Once" is the bad one. The pre-chorus, chorus or whatever it is doesn't have a bad melody but at the same time you say to yourself "why is Van Halen playing a song that sounds like something some English wierdos from the early 80's could have done?" It reminds me of those modern rock groups that consisted of only 2 members - 1 guy and 1 girl. Overall, C .

    7. Fire in the Hole - Ahhh, a nice hard rocking tune with good riffage and a nice groove. Hmmm, I wonder what this song is doing amongst all of the shit like "Dirty Water Dog" and "Once?" I even like the lyrics as odd as that may sound. Don't get me wrong, I have no idea what he's talking about. I wonder if the song is actually about something burning? Anyway, the guitar solo section is pretty cool and where the song goes after that is pretty cool too. I really have no complaints about this song... honestly. Overall A .

    8. Josephina - Oh so we're back to where we were before I see. After I get all fired up over FITH (no pun intended) I get this. Damn, what a letdown. I don't care how much you love someone, if their name is Josephina you better change the name of the song. I'd name it "Jennifer" or something instead. Plus he says something about Cinderella and some girl dressing up in her mother's clothes in the lyrics. That's just flat out stupid. Overall D .

    9. Year to the Day - First of all, the intro has too many notes in it than needed as if Eddie is trying to confuse us or something. Why he'd wanna do that I don't know. This song isn't necessarily bad, it just moves a little too slow for my taste. I guess it's not bad. The guitar solo sucks total ass but other than that and being too long I can't complain too much. Overall, C+ .

    10. Primary - What the hell is this? I kinda like this but I don't see the point of it. This doesn't seem to be making the same statement as "Spanish Fly" or "Cathedral" once did. It's short so I can't complain too much. Overall C+ .

    11. Ballot or the Bullet - Oh ok, now I get it. "Primary" was the intro to this song so it has this election kinda vibe going. More pretentious political bullshit. The intro lick is pretty cool and I actually like the riffage. The slide/dobro guitar section is pretty cool too. As far as the lyrics go, "ballot or the bullet, the choice is up to you?" It's comedy, it really is. At the end Eddie goes on for too long making all this racket with the slide and you're like "alright man the song is over, quit it." Despite my complaints overall grade is a C+ .

    12. How Many Say I - Ahhh, I KNEW there had to be an F amongst all of this shit. Here it is! As any miserable schoolteacher with a red pen would do, I proudly announce an overall grade of an F for this one.

    Whew (*wipes forehead), it's finally over..

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    VHIII sucks. I mean what else is there to say? It was all about Ed trying to show off and impress us, like we're not aware of his talent by now. It was just a bunch of random solos, and Gary's singing, besides being high, thin, and screechy at times, sounded pretty disingenuous. These are my grades:

    Neworld: F. This is not how you start a Van HALEN album for God's sakes.

    Without You: C-. The melody is alright, but there's too much soloing. The song goes all over the place, and not in a good way. And the lyrics are pretty trite.

    One I Want: C. Very average song, nothing about it really struck me.

    From Afar: F. God-awful singing combined with a crap guitar tone, and stupid gun-shot sounds or whatever the hell Alex does in the beginning.

    Dirty Water Dog: F. What the hell is this crap? Pure filler material.

    Once: F. Sounds like a bad Genesis song.

    Fire In The Hole: B. This is the only song on the album that sounds anything like classic Van HALEN. It's definitely a pop song created for album sales, but none the less a good tune.

    Josephina: F. Are you kidding me? How much wussier can this album get?

    Year To The Day: B-. Way too much soloing, Ed's definitely trying very hard to make it a point of how good he is. It's a shame a good melody goes to waste here.

    Primary: F. Crap. Total crap. I don't even know why they bothered throwing this one in.

    Ballot or the Bullet: F. VH and politics is a lethal combination.

    How Many Say I. F-. Yeah, I had to go even lower than F on this one. I seriously thought this was a joke the first time I heard it, sort of like how "Happy Trails" is a lighthearted joke on the end of Diver Down. But no, Ed was really being serious. That's beyond pathetic in my opinion.

    Final grade: Resounding F. Pure crap. It was so bad, we're still talking about it over 3 years later.

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    09.26.07 @ 01:38 PM
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    Donor

    I've always thought that VH3 was way too long. Cut out Neworld, Josephina, Primary, Ballot Or The Bullet, How Many Say I, and put an improved version of TWILY on it, and you've got about 50 minutes of almost decent music. OK, now the grades:

    1. Neworld - OK, but I'm not sure it is needed. C-

    2. Without You - One of the better songs, but it's too long and has lame lyrics. B

    3. One I Want - Pretty good. There are actually some background vocals from Mike. Bad lyrics though. B+

    4. From Afar - Nice intro but overall it doesn't really impress me that much. C

    5. Dirty Water Dog - Good guitar work but that's about it. D+

    6. Once - I actually like this song. Awesome solo, and Gary's voice sounds good. B

    7. Fire In The Hole - Probably the best song on the album. A-

    8. Josephina - This song makes me want to puke. F

    9. Year To The Day - Not bad. I think the soloing is good but the song is longer than it needs to be. B

    10. Primary - Does this really need to be on the album? F

    11. Ballot Or The Bullet - Music isn't bad, lyrics are terrible. D-

    12. How Many Say I - Do I really need to talk about this one? F

    Overall: C-
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Let me quickly get to the meat of the matter...Overall score... F- if that's possible. The idea behind it reeks, the production reeks, management at the time reeks, song writing reeks, and the engineering procees reeks. Three unnacceptable songs are...
    1. From Afar
    2. Josephina
    3. How Many Say I
    The F- comes in because TWILY was the best song they did with Cheroney and it wasn't even included on the disc. Lame, lame, lame.
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    Donor

    I hear a lot of people saying that Fire In the Hole is the most like classic Van Halen, and that also seems to be the song that most people like (tolerate [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]) on Van Halen III. Which pretty much tells me that people have a preconceived notion of what Van Halen should sound like, and if they start painting outside those lines, a bulk of the fans will turn a deaf ear to it.

    Personally, I HATED this album the first time I heard it, and my opinion didn't really change much for many listens. Finally though, I came to love it. I love it precisely because it ISN'T a classic Van Halen album. It's flawed all over the place, mostly in the overall sound of it. Then again, I think VH 2 and OU812 have terrible sound too, so missing the mark in the sound department is not a new concept to VH. Also, Gary seems to be reaching too hard in his vocals; a song like One I Want is almost destroyed by how much Gary is shouting the lyrics, as opposed to singing them.

    Bottom line, if I want to hear Dave or Sammy, I can do that. Getting Gary was an odd choice; Gary was not meant for mainstream rock and roll success because he's far too cerebral and free of the ego and attitude that carries a lot of rock and roll. But if you've ever listened to Extreme at all, there's nothing lyrically on VH 3 that should throw you for much of a loop.

    I'm glad they made the album, and I wish they'd finished and released the follow-up album. And in truth, if I knew there could be only one more Van Halen album, I'd still rather have the follow-up to 3 than a reunion album with either Dave or Sammy, even though I think the Dave years were the best VH ever did.

    Sorry, that was a bit all over the place. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

    BTW, Without You is an awesome song, and I loved the Beatles finish they did with it live. Year to the Day is an amazing song, the best one on the album. Josephina is a cool track, and How Many Say I proves that Wolfgang shouldn't leave his grade school poetry lying around the studio. [img]smilies/thumb.gif[/img]

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    i like the outro of fire in the hole

    will 'how many say i' be the last song ever recorded by vh?

    it would be like:
    running wtd -&gt; how many say i

    and if it comes to cheesy ballad, i prefer mariah carey, u know

    cheers,

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  7. #7
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    I don't know why everyone slags on "Primary" so much. Instrumental intro tracks are pretty standard fare for a VH album, and I thought this one was pretty good.

    I actually thought "Primary" and "Ballot or the Bullet" were the best cuts on the album. The lyrics are pretty worthless, but the music is excellent.
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    04.22.16 @ 10:07 AM
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    I agree with diggy with one exception...

    I thought From Afar was the one listenable song on the album. Didn't sound a damn thing like Van Halen, of course, but their Soundgarden ripoff worked much better than the Genesis ripoff or the Zeppelin ripoff did. (To say NOTHING of the Tom Waits ripoff at the end [img]smilies/sleep.gif[/img] )
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    09.05.15 @ 11:20 AM
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    Sounded like a band at the begining of pre-production. A whole mess of unorganized shit.

    Neworld - Whatever, unneeded giberish, maybe he should have saved it for the intro to his live solo

    Without You - Standard rock tune. Nothing too intresting, and the start of Gary's mistake.

    One I want - Cool verse groove, the rest is cheeseball garbage.

    From Afar - Could of been something. I liked the vocal melody in the B section, albeit predictable.

    DWD - Cool intro idea only to digress into pure crap.

    Once - Hello Peter Gabriel!!! Horrible vocals. Cool samples. Ed should have let her rip in the clapton solo section at the 4 minute mark, he kept going but never got started. At the end again, get to it dude, at the 6:10 mark. It's probably the best he sounded on the whole record though.

    Fire In The Hole - I don't know why people like this tune, it's a garbage leftover IMO. It would have been alright if Sam had a go at it, cause he would of fixed it. The best part of the song starts at the 4:30 mark.

    Josephina - One of the bright spots on the record for me. I really like this tune, probably my fav on 3. Great solo, perfect for the tune. Good vocal performance.

    YTTD - It's about 5 songs in one. Too much going on. From an artistic point, it's good. The chorus would have been better in a different tune. It's too damned long.

    Primary - Shit sandwich.

    BOTB - Great verse groove. The rest is pretty stail.

    HMSI - see Primary

    The actual production sucked bad, but they needed to spend another year working up tunes. Then they needed Ted to come and cut the shit, then it might of worked.

    Chalk this one up to an EVH solo record.
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by FORD:
    I agree with diggy with one exception...

    I thought From Afar was the one listenable song on the album. Didn't sound a damn thing like Van Halen, of course, but their Soundgarden ripoff worked much better than the Genesis ripoff or the Zeppelin ripoff did. (To say NOTHING of the Tom Waits ripoff at the end [img]smilies/sleep.gif[/img] )
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What Soundgarden song do you think they're ripping off? What song rips off Led Zeppelin in your opinion (I'm guessing Year To The Day)? And who is Tom Waits?

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dan Halen:

    6. Once - I actually like this song. Awesome solo, and Gary's voice sounds good. B

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    This is my favourite song on the whole album [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img] I always thought this should have been a song in a movie.
    Why does this song remind you of Genesis/Peter Gabriel? I don't see the connection [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img]
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ANGEL4U:



    This is my favourite song on the whole album [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img] I always thought this should have been a song in a movie.
    Why does this song remind you of Genesis/Peter Gabriel? I don't see the connection [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There's no balls to it and it has 1980's Genesis-like synthesizers.

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    ok...this is bugging me like seenbads member #1. I'm going to listen to this song again tomorrow, but methinks it reminds me of one of the songs in Top Gun [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img]
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    Once reminds my of Peter Gabriel, (who I happen to love) for several reasons.

    It vocally has some Peter Gabriel licks in it. The music has aspects of about 5 different Gabriel songs, like Red Rain, Women and Man, In, your Eyes, mercy street, biko, vocally Shakin the tree, come talk to me,digging in the dirt.

    It's not a direct rip job, but Gary's vocs just ruin it, it could have been a great song but even the remix of Gary's voice sounds like shit IMO.
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    I think the best song on the album has gotta be "How Many Say I." It's simply a touching song written from a deep sense of honesty and emotion. Edward's seering vocals help to serve the song with the best interpretation it could have gotten. Simply a great moment in Van Halen history IMO.

 

 

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