Legendary rockers Van Halen released a studio album of new material this week. It marks the band’s twelfth studio release, and the first since frontman David Lee Roth rejoined the band.
Long-time VH fans will enjoy the familiar sound on A Different Kind of Truth. The dynamic is really not different at all. This is, in part, due to the fact that some of these are songs that Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth were working on decades ago. It’s also partially due to the fact that Van Halen is something of a one-trick pony. Don’t get me wrong, that trick is awesome. But still.
Actually, pretty much my only complaint about this album is David Lee Roth. He doesn’t have any energy, his lyrics are rarely interesting, and his voice sounds tired. There are a handful of moments where he seems to break through and sound like his on self, but it’s never a full track. Most of the time he gets in the way of really strong rock music. Eddie, love him or hate him, hasn’t missed a beat with his guitar work. The guitar solos are actually incredible. The songs are big and loud and enjoyable, but I just can’t quite get past DLR’s vocals. They sound out of place and uncomfortable.
The album is nothing shocking or interesting, nor is it disappointing or boring. The songs all sound similar, but that’s kind of the point when it comes to VH. Aside from the first track (“Tattoo” was the lead single and is arguably the worst track on the album), the album is consistently above-average, with pockets of real intensity and energy. Overall it gets a 6.5/10.
A Different Kind of Truth is available on iTunes for $11.99 and is streaming on Spotify.