Classic Rock Corner

Van Halen's A Different Kind Of Truth: A Track-By-Track Breakdown

First off, Van Halen's first album in 14 years, A Different Kind Of Truth is - in the words of my friend Lisa - "better than it should be."

And I agree. The guys could have slacked off on this and coasted on their legend - however possibly tarnished in the eyes of fans - but Truth is no cash-in lightweight, or excuse to sell merch and concert tickets. But it sure makes a compelling reason to see them live in 2012.

These thirteen new songs, the group's first work with prodigal son David Lee Roth since 1984's 1984, make a raunchy, unfrozen caveman-monster of an album. This sounds like it could have been the logical follow-up to 1984, had Roth left, or been fired, or whatever the story was in each book or documentary you happen to read or see. Another close relative to Truth seems to be 1980's Women And Children First.

The band, now minus bassist Michael Anthony, have made the mother all comeback albums, sounding just as vital as ever, armed with riffs that have been stored inside a time capsule from the Reagan era. Is Anthony missed? Yes, but the new kid Wolfgang Van Halen has matured into his role opposite his father Eddie Van Halen, and is now an old hand. His backing vocal slot, where Anthony shined for years, is on the money. As for his bass playing, that is what is driving this band into now.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty