Music Review: Van Halen's A Different Kind of Truth

By Vanessa Butler

Van Halen is back in full force with their first album in fourteen years, A Different Kind of Truth.

Madonna headlined the Super Bowl half-time, Ferris Bueller was in a Honda Commercial and Van Halen just released their latest album. And yet, it’s 2012. In all honesty, what can be written that hasn’t been written about one of the most influential hard rock bands of all time? Van Halen has sold over 80 million albums worldwide, is one of five rock bands to sell more than 10 million copies of not one but two albums in the US, and despite the influx of flavor-of-the-week pop bands and single song downloading, proudly holds the rank of most #1 hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

Yes, it’s quite apparent that Van Halen reigns supreme over us all.

That being said, it’s always trying for fans to anticipate an album that is being released well beyond the heyday’s of a mega band. The not so triumphant return of Guns ‘N Roses in 2008 made fans of American hard rock nervous wrecks. But, devotees who revel in their glory years by dusting off boomboxes and rocking out to 1984 in suburban garages, take comfort in knowing that A Different Kind of Truth isn’t your run of the mill comeback album. Van Halen ransacked their repertoire to find any unreleased demos, rarities or half written songs to revamp, recut and renew. A Different Kind of Truth is the first studio album with lead vocalist David Lee Roth in 27 years. 

David and Eddie collaborated in the past and the present on A Different Kind of Truth with tracks like “Tattoo,” the first song and single off of the album, “Blood and Fire” in which David Lee Roth fittingly sings “I told you I’d be back” before an epic Eddie Van Halen guitar solo. The album ends with “Big River” where Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang who replaced Michael Anthony as the bass player in 2006, really shines.

All in all, A Different Kind of Truth is what you would expect from Van Halen. The tracks are familiar and tried, but that’s also what is so great with this band. They’re there for you when you needed to drive down a deserted highway and pound back a couple of domestic beers with your friends. A Different Kind of Truth will be another 13 tracks you’ll be able to put on your playlist when you’re in need of a little Van Halen.

Best Tracks: “Big River”, “Blood and Fire”

Skip These: “Outta Space”,“Stay Frost”


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