Can't believe we're hitting this one on time for the first Tuesday in, like, a month. Just taking a small, slight break from the Grammys to fulfill my personal requirements of keeping up on a little bit of new music each week. I promise, I do enjoy this. :)
12th album. Just take that one in for a second. This is the band's 12th studio album. And their first since reuniting with David Lee Roth in 2007. The last studio album they'd released was 14 years ago. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a huge Van Halen fan, but that is mighty impressive.
So the first track in 14 years is "Tattoo." It was released as the lead single with this video:
"She's The Woman" is second up. Maybe it's because I'm watching Glee right now, but these old sounding 80's rock songs need a show choir adaptation these days. *avoids rocks* Kidding! Kidding! I just can't get into this quite yet.
Digging "You and Your Blues" a little more than the first two through the verses. The chorus is a little much to take. I can't help thinking if they're reaching back to the older sound just to maintain the loyal fans? The career length is incredible and clearly lasting.
I'm trying to come up with more to say, but it's tough, at least it was until this number - "China Town" gave me a slightly different impression in that I think the production on this album was updated from previous methods. There are slight electronic influences, at least at the beginning, showing a bit. The sound's just slightly updated enough to make it more appealing.
"Blood and Fire" is much more bearable musically. Actually, I kind of love the song altogether in a weird way, but maybe because I'm looking for something to like. Up until we hit the yelling in the chorus, the vocals are harsh, but the lyrics are pretty decent. Musically, I really like the whole thing. Actually, this as an instrumental would probably work really well, just something to jam to, yah know?
I'm just bothered and confused by "Bullethead." It's an intense metal song that seems to have no point, sorry. I may get a comment telling me that I just don't understand metal, but I here, like R&B, have heard things before that I've liked. I promise!
"As Is" is a jumble for a minute. It's tough to get your bearing onto where the songs going. I really didn't understand the lyrics for the first half of the song either. It moves, that's for sure. And I can see why their concerts would be a ton of fun - it's all partying all the time!
I appreciate the effort at a different sound at the start of "Honeybabysweetiedoll." I also like that a majority of it was instrumental and not dragged down by non-understandable lyrics. I also like the title a lot, and wish that it actually sounded that way in the song - seriously, you pick this one to enunciate each word separately?
"The Trouble With Never" might actually have something to it. There may be an opinion or something here, from the little I can make out from the lyrics. Seriously though, love the guitar tearing through the middle of the song, and the whispered contemplations that give the whole song an entirely different tone and feel. There's depth and a good time all in one nice little package.
Love the idea in my head for "Outta Space." It's a cool title, and reminds me more of the cover than anything else has on the album so far. It's much more of a jamming out rock song than we've been hearing. They've hit the mark on the not-caring-too-much front, allowing for just song good classic hard rock music and letting go.
"Stay Frosty" is finally understandable and not over-done with the typical hyped up instrumentation. This is way stripped down and just fun. It's a good number to remember who we're dealing with - legends. They are, in fact, capable of more than one sound, and choose to impress with the simplicity we've needed for about 10 tracks now. Even as the song goes into much more sound, it's not as harsh on the ears and actually enjoyable.
We've got a steady beat and good attitude for "Big River" and are open to hearing the song. It's got that classic sound to it, but more on the appealing side because of the catchy sort of nature. It enough to kick back and keep a foot tapping to it and head bobbing along.
We end things for this new album with "Beats Workin'." The song is kind of a great wrap up for a band, given the subject and the finality of the feel. Good stuff.
Allll right, welp, yay, Van Halen album done. It was all right. I mean, I'll probably never give it another listen on my own will, but it was a pretty decent album in the eyes of someone who's never been a big fan. Of course, I did feel like I'd been transported back a few decades... but that's cool sometimes, right? Next one, we're back to Grammy nods.