Although the biggest news in music the past several days has been the tragic death of Whitney Houston, the biggest news in my music world is the release of the brand new studio album from Van Halen on February 7.
A Different Kind of Truth is a remarkable return to the band’s good old days.
The David Lee Roth-led Van Halen has always had a lot of swing in their sound and it’s back on this album on songs like “She’s the Woman,” the supercharged swing of “Honeybabysweetiedoll,” and the “Ice Cream Man” throwback “Stay Frosty.”
There are also plenty of fret-melting guitar romps like “Bullethead,” and “Outta Space,” where Eddie Van Halen proves he still has the chops of a guitar legend. “As Is,” the heaviest track on the album has Wolfgang Van Halen’s bass out front a bit more, and the Van Halen boys sound near telepathic in their tightness.
The thing I miss the most though are the unmistakable background vocals of Michael Anthony and his hammering bass work. While not a deal breaker, his absence is noticeable.
In comparison to other Diamond Dave-led Van Halen albums, I’d rate A Different Kind of Truth at the same level as Fair Warning and better than Diver Down. Diver Down, with its sparseness of original material, was great fun but the 13 new tracks of A Different Kind of Truth will have me listening a lot more often.
If you haven’t picked up A Different Kind of Truth, get on the right side of the tracks and get it!