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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Van Halen blunders with new album

(Courtesy of Interscope Records)

Hard core Van Halen fans who were anticipating the release of the most recent album will be disappointed to find it just doesn’t offer anything new.

The album, titled “A Different Kind of Truth,” was released on Feb. 7th.

Recently, major bands like Metallica and the Rolling Stones have been releasing new albums. Many of them were flops.

Unfortunately, the new Van Halen album was no different.

When I think of Van Halen, the first thing that comes to mind is their original style. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics, screaming vocals (courtesy of David Lee Roth), and back ground vocals is the reason I am still able to blast their biggest hits from decades ago.

Now, with David Lee Roth returning as the lead singer and Wolfgang Van Halen as the bassist, fans can anticipate a very different tune than the ones they are used to hearing.

The first song that was released, “Tattoo,” has most of the same elements as past songs. There are still back ground vocals, but the vocals are awkwardly placed. It seems to jump in at inappropriate times, leaving the listener distracted from the actual instruments that are being played.

The song isn’t as clean and everything seems thrown together. Rather than making every voice and instrument count, everything just seem to be thrown out there in the hope that it’ll sound appealing to the listener.

Roth isn’t the same either. Granted, a lot of time has passed from when this group made their first album, and I do give credit to Roth for being able to reach the high note that he does.

Regardless, though, his voice just doesn’t have the same magic it once had. It seems to have lost the appeal.

The lyrics are also disappointing. Rather than being witty or original, the lyrics were close to dull. In songs like “Tattoo” and “She’s the Woman,” the lyrics do little to really stick out from songs that are frequently heard today.

The album wasn’t able to recapture the same balance of attitude, mystique, or originality it once had.

After hearing countless classic Van Halen songs on the radio, what made the songs especially disappointing is knowing that it was not the best this band could do.

Songs like “The Trouble with Never,” and “As Is” weren’t terrible songs. It just wasn’t the best this band could do. The tune was catchy enough, but it just felt like a bad knock-off to what they had done in the past.

I do, however, give the band credit for making a new album. While it’s far from terrible, it just isn’t in the same league as the ones they became famous for. Songs like “You Really Got Me” and “Jump” are still frequently played on the radio.

Songs like “Tattoo” and “Stay Frost” will most likely be forgotten within couple of months.

It isn’t just the Van Halen band. In comparison to other major bands, Van Halen actually exceeded my own expectations. It just wasn’t enough to really have me wanted to press the play button continually.

In short, the songs aren’t vintage enough to appease original fans but also fail at being modern enough to captive new ones.

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About the Contributor
Christa Balingit, Arts and Features Editor
Christa Balingit was the arts and features editor in fall 2011 and spring 2012.

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Van Halen blunders with new album