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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 February 2012
First things first - this record deserves to be listened to with big speakers, loud - not through your laptop!

Tattoo - I love it, but it`s the weakest song on the record. Reworks an old demo, "Down in Flames", very modern sounding, great solo, and strong performance lyrically and vocally from Dave.

She's The Woman - Another new "old" song. Transports you straight back to the late 70s, wah-wah intro, badass bass line, great groove, classic Dave, and classic Van Halen.

You and Your Blues - superb intro, Dave really sounding great, singalong bridge and chorus.

China Town - What the what? Van Maiden intro :) Proper ballstothewall Van Halen! Think Romeo Delight, Sinners Swing or DOA. Wow. Eddie is 57 remember. not 17.

Blood and Fire - I love this song so much. It could fit somewhere on side two of 1984. Eddie gives one of those solos that makes you freeze what you`re doing.

Bullethead - quick, punchy hard-rockin` CVH.

As Is - Now, this is how to start a song! A bit of magic from Alex, Eddie grooving like it`s 1984, Dave at a hundred mph - "everybody, let`s stay focussed" - it`s pure Van Halen boogie. Eddie`s solo sounds like Eruption...speeded up.

Honeybabysweetiedoll - Sounds like an obscure DLR song called Flex. Really powerful bass, sounds like nothing they`ve done before, almost like industrial metal.

The Trouble With Never - very DLR, funny lyrics - "When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favour?". Lots of wah-wah, think it got stuck in the "on" position :)

Outta Space - Brilliant fun, it`s an old Eddie riff, powerful from everyone. Great words.

Stay Frosty - Remember Ice Cream Man? Gut feeling is that "Stay Frosty" is the greatest thing I`ve ever heard, it`s got that groove, tempo, solo, lyrics and beat that no other band gives me. The song I`m walking around singing.

Big River - An old demo called "Big Trouble" reappears. Which is fantastic news, because fans have wanted that for about 35 years.

Beats Workin` - Really strong finale. Probably the most dramatic intro to a Van Halen song since...Mean Street? You can easily imagine the 3 Van Halen`s in Eddie`s studio messing about when they came up with this. Sounds like no other band on earth. Things change for mid-song minute, and it gets totally spine chilling. Closes like all records should, with a huge wall of feedback. Like Van Halen closing everything down. Why couldn`t this record carry on for an hour more?

This record warrants (deserves) a lot of listens to catch everything that`s going on. I think they`ve reinvented Rock again. A lot of the songs remind me of the classic records from 1978-84, but firstly they have aged brilliantly so that`s no bad thing, but they have the 21st century stamped all over them. I can`t believe it`s true, but it was worth the wait. They`re back baby.
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on 6 February 2012
It should be said that I like Sammy Hagar, I like Chickenfoot, I like David Lee Roth and I like Van Halen - I'm not in one of the so called 'camps'.

This album itself is phenomenal, a lot of people won't like the fact that a some of the songs are based on early demos but who cares?

'Tattoo' the opening song; which in my opinion is a bit of fun, is nothing like the rest of the album and I can't help thinking it was perhaps the wrong single to release, in order to give listeners an impression of the new album.

Stand out songs - She's the Woman, You and Your Blues, The Trouble With Never and Stay Frosty.

As an aside: Wolf is not Michael Anthony and the best part is that he doesn't try to be Michael Anthony. He has his own particular version of playing and signing which brilliantly mix with Eddie, Al and Dave.

All in all buy the album, play it loud on good speakers and make up your own mind.

VH are back!!!!

Now all they need to do is tour the UK.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 February 2012
I`m a Van Halen fan. That means DLR to me. So, is it worth the wait? And first things first - this record deserves to be listened to with big speakers, loud - not through your laptop!

Tattoo - I love it, but it`s the weakest song on the record. Reworks an old demo, "Down in Flames", very modern sounding, great solo, and strong performance lyrically and vocally from Dave.

She's The Woman - Another new "old" song. Transports you straight back to the late 70s, wah-wah intro, badass bass line, great groove, classic Dave, and classic Van Halen.

You and Your Blues - superb intro, Dave really sounding great, singalong bridge and chorus.

China Town - What the what? Van Maiden intro :) Proper ballstothewall Van Halen! Think Romeo Delight, Sinners Swing or DOA. Wow. Eddie is 57 remember. not 17.

Blood and Fire - I love this song so much. It could fit somewhere on side two of 1984. Eddie gives one of those solos that makes you freeze what you`re doing.

Bullethead - quick, punchy hard-rockin` CVH.

As Is - Now, this is how to start a song! A bit of magic from Alex, Eddie grooving like it`s 1984, Dave at a hundred mph - "everybody, let`s stay focussed" - it`s pure Van Halen boogie. Eddie`s solo sounds like Eruption...speeded up.

Honeybabysweetiedoll - Reminds me of an obscure DLR song called Flex. Really powerful bass, sounds like nothing Van Halen have done before, almost like industrial metal. A million miles from Van Hagar.

The Trouble With Never - very DLR, funny lyrics - "When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favour?". Lots of wah-wah, think it got stuck in the "on" position :)

Outta Space - Brilliant fun, it`s an old Eddie riff, powerful from everyone. Great words and as good as anything on this release, except for...

Stay Frosty - Remember Ice Cream Man? Gut feeling is that "Stay Frosty" is the greatest thing I`ve ever heard, it`s got that groove, tempo, solo, lyrics and beat that no other band gives me. The song I`m walking around singing.

Big River - An old demo called "Big Trouble" reappears. Which is fantastic news, because fans have wanted that for about 35 years. There is a fairly amazing guitar break, between 1.40-2.40, you might want to pay extra attention to it!

Beats Workin` - Really strong finale. Probably the most dramatic intro to a Van Halen song since...Mean Street? You can easily imagine the 3 Van Halen`s in Eddie`s studio messing about when they came up with this. Sounds like no other band on earth. Things change for mid-song minute, and it gets totally spine chilling. Closes like all records should, with a huge wall of feedback. Like Van Halen closing everything down. Why couldn`t this record carry on for an hour more?

This record warrants (deserves) a lot of listens to catch everything that`s going on. I think they`ve reinvented Rock again. A lot of the songs remind me of the classic records from 1978-84, but firstly those records have aged brilliantly so that`s no bad thing, but ADKOT also has the 21st century stamped all over it. I can`t believe it`s true, but it was worth the wait. They`re back baby.
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on 6 February 2012
Is this my favourite VH album ever? Oh I think so. It has the diversity VH II, the swagger of Women and Children First, the middle finger of Fair Warning, the coolness of Diver Down and the stadium-filling arrogance of 1984. It doesn't have the `Hey look at us!' of VH I, but then it doesn't need it and no offence to Messrs Hagar and Cherone, VH will always be Diamond Dave's.

Any track could slide in easy to the aforementioned albums and yes Tattoo was a curious choice to 're-launch' the band, but in the context of the record it works perfect. There isn't a weak track to be found on what has to be the longest album they have made by far. There's something for everybody and the riff of Honeybabysweetiedoll proves they haven't taken their foot off the gas after all these year.

If VH I was Wild Turkey Bourbon, A Different Kind Of Truth is as smooth as a bottle of 25 year old Chivas Regal.

Stay frosty.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 February 2012
Welcome back Diamond Dave.. and the boys,a superb return from the wilderness for Mr Roth.I didnt really know what to expect as both parties have been out of action for so long,maybe absence does make the heart grow fonder.

There's not much more can be said about the disc,its chock full of excellent tracks such as 'She's The Woman'(my personal fav),'Beats Workin','Outa Space' and 'China Town' and who doesnt raise a smile at 'Stay Frosty' a track that reminds you why you loved Diamond Dave in the first place.

A couple dont quite hit the spot 'As Is' and 'Honeybabysweetiedoll' while 'Tattoo' is ok,a real strange track to use as the lead off/single

The sound very heavy,no real subtlety,the drum sound thundering from the speakers,while Eddie just oozes class on the guitar scorching leads here there and everywhere,a lot of people have signposted various Van Halen albums that this disc would neatly sit next to,for me its arguable that this disc is more influenced by Roths solo career ,the overall production reminds me of the heavy feel of The D.L.R Band released in 1998,listen to 'Bullethead' while 'Blood n Fire' could easily have come from any of Roths early discs and bizarrely everytime i hear 'You and Your Blues' i immediately think of Skyscraper's 'Just Like Paradise',not neccesarily the sound but the feel.

To sum up, i do miss the subtle bass runs of Michael Anthony and his superior backing vocals,but Wolfgang does a decent job,this album is about reintroducing Van Halen to the world,im expecting the next one to blow us all away.
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on 23 February 2012
OK - cards right out on the table. VH were a big part of my musical youth (which is more than can be said for Musical Youth) - back in the late-70s and early 80s I saw the Roth incarnation twice and they will remain one of my all-time faves.
Forget the Sammy years (much as I loved most of it) or VHIII, we are discussing the return of Diamond Dave. The world has turned through trash-talking, substance abuse, reunion tours and more rumour mill than output - yet here we are.
So what we got? Dave's wise-cracking crazy Zen wisdom? Check. A rehabilitated EVH firing on all musical cylinders? Check. A thunderous rhythm section? Check. A bunch of 70s songs redone? Semi-check. This is a brave and interesting step backwards to go forwards and it works much better than you would think. You do need to give the album a fair crack of the whip as it's not too immediate -repeated plays will reward though.
I didn't really get 'Tattoo' at first but as with everything on here, it's a grower. There's nothing to compete with say 'Runnin' WIth The Devil' or 'Unchained' or 'Romeo Delight' but it's good, good stuff and considering all the water under the bridge, it's amazing this record got made at all let alone as successfully as this. I do miss Mike though.
I was all ready to forget the whole thing as for a few years there it looked like they had p*ssed their legacy and reputation away. Now - if they tour the UK, I'm there! Some people made points about the sound quality and I would agree with that unfortunately. EVH through 21st century technology should equal eyebrow removal at 20 feet this is a little too compressed for my tastes. What would Ted have done???
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on 14 February 2012
... but totally worth it. I'm a fan of all the VH work whether it be Roth, Hagar or Cherone as each period had it's great stuff. There'll be reviews out there saying DLR doesn't sound as sharp as he did, but who bought those era records for vocal coaching? He's still the best frontman out there, the chemisty is superb. The energy level is right up there; they sound young, fresh and heavy. Eddie Van Halen on this record is a monster, sounding brilliant. I can't turn this album off, it's the mutt's nuts - buy it.

On another note I got it from Amazon double-quick on standard free delivery - great stuff as had it on pre-order and got it quicker than if i'd have gone to a highstreet store.
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on 6 February 2012
You can see the haters coming from a mile away: Cheesy 80's band! It's got no Hagar! Roth is past his peak (or never had one)! No Van Halen Without Mike! They raided the archives and reworked outtakes and demos!
But I say, face `em with a smile and turn up the volume, `cause this album is absolutely insane!

Okay, I admit it, I'm a huge fan. To me, VH are the Beatles on steroids. But boy, did they exceed my expectations on this one.

Just to get this out of the way, Beats Workin' and Tattoo don't excite me much, and Bullethead is a bit too punky for my taste. But that leaves 10 tracks that range from really good to brilliant.

The one thing that never gets a mention in mainstream reviews of Van Halen is the fact that Ed&Al are probably the tightest, and most adventurous rhythm section around in rock. That was the case in 1978, and I'm happy to say, that's still the case today! Wolf ain't no filler either. I'll continue:

Is it fun? Check. (sooo happy there's at least still one serious band NOT contemplating the various nuances of the agony of living in each and every song).

Good songs? Check. (great actually, and they are concise and to the point too!)

Does it groove? Check. (try not to move your body as you listen to THIS - I dare you)

Melodies? Check. (everywhere)

Harmonies there? Check. (yep, even without Mike)

Killer riffs? Check. (everywhere)

Is it original? Check. (I don't care if THEY came up with it before...and they are still in a league of their own)

Is it inspired? Check. (can you believe these guys are in their 50's??)

Diverse? Check. (heavy on the up-tempo scorchers, but there's something there for each mood you're in, and even the dark ones won't get you down!)

Does it surprise? Check. (each song has a twist somewhere...from the solo in She's The Woman to the tonality of HoneyBabySweetieDoll)

Brown sound? Check. (great tone Ed! And Al of course)

Seriously, what else do you want in an album?? Forget all the BS and just enjoy!
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on 7 February 2012
This is the album Van Halen has wanted to be for over 10 years, even after all the infighting, the firings, the lead singer switches, David Lee Roth "re-joining" the band for a moment in 2000,
and then again for a year or two in 2006, bassist Michael Anthony vanishing from view and replaced by Eddie's son Wolfgang, and brother Alex Van Halen just keeps beating away on the drums... you know, it's only So Cal rock and roll, but they like it. And it's a formula that worked for all those years, so why not try it one more time. This is the result.

This is a short (and priced to move) album of "new" songs, so in that spirit I'm going to review this quickly, but if you know me, it never works out that way. Enjoy...

13 songs at just over 50 minutes:

1. Tattoo - from right off the jump, the sonic jet crashes into your ears. The Van Halen of old has landed, and David's somewhat older voice still soars over the destruction of guitars, drums and synths. This song reaches into my heart and grabs it, as it's friggin' Van Halen, man! This rocked so hard, and the ending just quietly silenced itself. Great song either way. It was number one the second it was released, and to be sure it's just a prelude of things to come on the rest of this album.

2. She's The Woman - according to an article by Rolling Stone magazine, this song sounds like an old unreleased song of theirs called "Down In Flames" from 1977. Sure it does, but who cares? It sounds fresh and loud and once again, it rocks! It's like 1983 all over again, and I can see 10,000 Camaros blaring this album - and this short song - out all over America this summer. This is a great rocker for sure!

3. You and Your Blues - the guitar riff is familiar, the voice is haunting and young, the drums come up and the vocal harmonies appear, and there it is, andother perfect Van Halen song. Did these guys jump into a time machine and set it for the 80's, because I'm all for it! This is the song of the album so far, it's rich and lush and the solos are perfect, and the rock is finally back!

4. China Town - look out, keep your heads down, and jump right in, this is THE speed rock song of the album - everything is double-time except for David's laid-back vocals, but it's the formula
that made them famous through over a dozen albums and compilations, greatest hits albums and live cuts, too. The guitar solo here is vintage Eddie, and is so freaking dizzying your head will spin, and then it stops for that one second and then the song jumps back in full blast! Look out, you're gonna get blown away by this one.

5. Blood and Fire - are the boys singing the history of their lives or of the band's, or of both? "Told ya I was coming back..." Dave moans over the smashing guitar work of Eddie, brother Alex keeping fantastic time, and young son Wolfgang just banging away on the bass. they've been through punch-ups, break-ups, silent glances and some of the best rock ever put on vinyl. Here they are in their fortieth year (!) of working this craziness out together, and I'll be honest, they've never sounded better, fresher and younger! Bravo!

6. Bullethead - this song is pure nostalgia, and it takes me to a lost track from "Women and Children First." Great stuff, a quick song, and insane lyrics from the boys who invented power-drill rock and roll.

7. As Is - As this song is, the drums tell you a monster track is coming. And it sure is, a behemoth of sound, quickly building up to David Lee roth once again keeping up in his own way against the all-out assault of the Van Halens. Who wins this fight on this song this time. I'll tell you - we do, and what a solo in the middle. Once again, classic Eddie at work and it is only getting better. As David half-whispers, "Never spoiled by progress..." Another winner!

8. Honeybabysweetiedoll - One of the odder tracks on the album, something like finding a foreign broadcast of Martian rock on the radio by way of Southern California, but it goes right into 1984 again, as if the boys had never stopped jamming together for all those years. It's sexy, and fast, and it's like a moonlight ride with your lover with the lights off doing 125 on the highway as you get closer to... oh, you know what! Another growling mastertake. The song ends quickly with a quick feedback right into

9. The Trouble with Never - what happens when your lover suddenly says no after so much yes? This song once again takes me back to the past glories of the band, but it's a great place to be,
and David's voice has never sounded more syrupy and with that sexy quiet growl he is famous for. Another classic.

10. Outta Space - What if Ted Nugent decided to play with Van Halen? This is the closest you'll ever get to hearing that, as the song's subject takes us to the stratosphere. Another screamer from David, and another wonderful solo from the master, and he's getting better with every song, and on this song you can feel every fret and string being tortured under his capable hands!

11. Stay Frosty - a bit of silly old timey blues, which makes me think this is a sequel of sorts to "Ice Cream Man," as the boys have always loved it, but of course jump right into a quick-time version of the song, and they're letting us know that it's good to have fun, but of course keep your karma careful, and who should know about the ultimate ups and downs but these guys? A great bit of solo Eddie work once again in between as well, and of course what Van Halen album would be complete without the big classic song ending?

12. Big River - now it's time for a bit of seriousness - not! They run right into this song as they have throughout, with abandon and the type of rock and roll that needs to be remembered, 100 percent! This is a great song and one of my picks for another hit, if they let it happen! The guitar work is solid and the solo here is unmatched and timeless, and even though you may have heard similar versions of it, this is Eddie Van Halen, one of the inventors of the speed solo, and here he is untouched. Serious masterwork.

13. Beats Workin' - for these guys, the final song on the album is a love letter to everyone who has ever wanted to start a rock band, to everyone who has failed, and to those who succeeded
only to let it slip out of their hands. The power of rock is here in all it's glory, and it's timeless, and it has kept them playing for four decades - young bassist Wolfgang wasn't even born when they started! A great way to close out the album, with a suggestion from the band itself: it beats working, all of it. It's rock and roll.

So, I had apprehensions, maybe it's because I'm almost 50 now and my rock and roll idols are dead or have gone soft and gone on reality shows to keep their names alive, or worse, gone off to cover Broadway show tunes. So here it is, supposedly the wend of the world, and these guys have the audacity to put out an album of straight-forward good old fashioned rock and roll? Just a guitar, a bass player, a singer and a drummer? Well, yes!

I listened, I reviewed, and I loved every second of it. You young kids can call it dinosaur rock, but I dare any of you to tell these guys that. They are rocking their butts off, and it works for me!

In the end, I'm giving the album 5 glorious stars - they deserve it, they've restored my faith in true rock and roll, and the fun spirit four guys can have by just sitting down and playing what they've been doing since many of us were young, at least me.

Go now, buy the album, and as us old people say, crank it up to eleven! You'll be glad you did!

(thanks for reading, and please leave some feedback (or a vote) if you liked it or not, and also check out my other reviews here on Amazon!)
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on 24 February 2012
First things first - I am a fan of both the DLR and Sammy Hagar era bands (don't ask me about the Cherone era!). However, upon first listen to 'A Different Kind of Truth', I realised just how much I'd missed the DLR fronted version.

What really hit home the most was the fact that a lot of the groove and tongue-in-cheek humour has been absent from Van Halen records since the '1984' album. From 5150 through to the Cherone-fronted VHIII, there has been nothing to match the good-time boogie of 'I'm the One' or 'Hot for Teacher', and no vocal ad-libs along the lines of "One break coming up!" as heard in 'Unchained'.

With this in mind, 'A Different Kind of Truth' delivers on all fronts. Some of the songs really do sound like they came straight off an early VH record. 'She's the Woman' could've been a VHI outake, 'Bullethead' would sit nicely on VHII and 'Blood and Fire' a definite possibility for inclusion on '1984'. The fact that Eddie and Wolfgang scoured the vaults digging out old riffs and songs for inclusion on the new album has really paid dividends. Lazy songwriting? Maybe. A great way of connecting with the past? Definitely.

One of the big debates is how much original bassist Michael Anthony is missed. For my money, the big pull of VH will always be Eddie and, even though Anthony's vocal is a clearly absent, his bass playing was never that unique as to leave a large hole in the sound.

Pros of the album: Without doubt a high tempo, high energy record which is up there with any of the early VH canon and, in fact, is probably one of their most consistent records.

Cons of the album: Whilst his playing is as top notch as ever, I was a little disappointed that EVH didn't recover the beautiful guitar tone that he had up to the '1984' album. Bring back the Frankstrat!
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