Monday, April 16, 2012

scrap 224; Van Halen A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH

This is a journey into sound.....
(my 10th review)

...and then 28 years later Diamond David was welcomed back into the fold where he, Alexander, Edward, & Edward's son Wolfgang lived happily ever.
If there is a God & yes I do believe there must be, then some prayers are in fact answered, some fairy tales come true, world peace can be achieved, & Van Halen can have one David Lee Roth back as their frontman/singer. Sammy Hagar was a new singer for Van Halen. David Lee Roth is THE singer for Van Halen.
Back in 2007, the Van Halen Reunion Tour was alive & well. The original Van Halen line up was 3/4 intact & on tour (substitute Ed's son Wolfgang for long-time bassist Michael Anthony)
Fast forward to 2011-2012. Rumors began to swirl cyberspace that Van Halen could possibly be sort of back in the studio (5150) recording a new album. And then on January 12, 2012, rumor became reality when the first single off a yet untitled new album was released. TATTOO hit the world at large & the new/old Van Halen was off & running. By January 23, 2012, TATTOO was ranked #1 on Billboard's Hard Rock Singles chart, the #1 most played song at classic rock radio in its first week and #1 most added song at mainstream and active rock radio. TATTOO had mixed reviews. A wide range of opinions from love it to hate it. I didn't like it at first but have come to love it now. Then new rumors began to rise. TATTOO was actually based on a never released song called DOWN IN FLAMES. Then more rumors; was this seemingly mythical new album with Diamond Dave ALL old demos from the 70's that they did prior to 1984? In an interview, new/former lead singer Sammy Hagar said so, & for the most part he was right.
On February 7, 2012 all rumors were confirmed. A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH was released. 13 'new' tracks with David Lee Roth at the helm of the good yet plenty battered ship Van Halen. Now that Dave, Alex, & Eddie are all in their late 50's the kicks & jumps aren't as high. Dave's Jack Daniels stained voice doesn't quite have the same range as it used to but musically & lyrically the boys are in tip top form. Dave's singing his ass off. Eddie is not just playing his ass off he's again re-defining the rock guitar. Alex has been reborn again hard on the skins (perhaps because he is now an ordained minister) & Ed's pride & joy Wolfgang is dangerous on the bass & bonus, he can sing too.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH is the best of the re-worked past & the retro future all in the present.
The 13 'new' tracks I spoke of earlier are; 1. Tattoo. 2. She's the Woman. 3. You & Your Blues. 4. Chinatown. 5. Blood & Fire. 6. Bullethead. 7. As Is. 8. Honeybabysweetiedoll. 9. The Trouble With Never. 10. Outta Space. 11. Stay Frosty. 12. Big River. 13. Beats Workin'
All these songs have that retro feel to them & yet still manage to sound resoundingly new in my opinion. I have listened to this album in its entirety on numerous occasions & have yet to find any reason to not love this album.
Since A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH was released on CD in 2 versions (standard & deluxe) & online. I purchased the deluxe edition. That version came with two CD's. The standard album & a bonus disc (The Downtown Sessions) consisting of the band rehearsing acoustic versions of; Panama, You and Your Blues (Intro), You and Your Blues, and Beautiful Girls. A Collector's Edition vinyl album was also released. This double gatefold LP vinyl includes all 13 songs on two 180g LPs plus custom LP artwork done by David Lee Roth.
I have to admit the vinyl format is absolutely beautiful. The LP's are in a bright red color that matches the red color on the cover artwork. A silver/bronze Art Deco locomotive engine with the classic VH logo in the upper right hand corner. (speaking of which, is extremely similar to The steam locomotive featured on the cover artwork is a New York Central Railroad J-3A Dreyfuss Hudson. Aside from a reversed angle of the locomotive, the artwork appears very similar to the 1975 Commodores album Movin' On, released by Motown Records.)
The records are as flawless sounding as they are cool to look at. They are loud. They are clean. High's, mid's & lows are all in wonderful vinyl harmony. If you are a fan of Van Halen, especially the DLR era music this is definitely the album you've waited well over a generation for. That's the truth. The whole truth, & nothing but a different kind of truth. So help me God. Go Spin it.

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