Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth
Interscope
Hard Rock Awesomesauce
13 songs (49:58)
Release year: 2012
Van Halen, Interscope
Reviewed by Aleksie
Album of the year
I have taken way, WAY too long with this review so let me just say it: unbelievable. It is unbelievable in itself that historically-speaking-the-best-band-ever has been able to take a break from their legendary ego tripping and put out a new studio record. 14 years after the previous one. 28, let me write that down as well, twenty-eight years after the previous one that featured the group’s finest and understandably-to-many one and only true front man, David Lee Roth. And in spite of all these factors, listening to A Different Kind Of Truth slaps me silly and shows that Van Halen is still the best. band. ever. Un-fookin’-believable.

Yes, Diamond Dave is back on the microphone and it feels good, so good. Hell, since VH I his trump card was always shameless rock star charisma over technique but to still hear him swing, those mid-song spoken quips, crafty one-liners and puns in the lyrics, occasional classic yelps, holy crap how is he still doing this as well past 50?!? He may have lost some of that high end in said yelps but he is still the greatest front man in the world. That laid back, smarmy swagger just can’t seem to be duplicated.

That’s the thing here, swagger. The groove is relaxed and awesome as the rhythms roll off of Alex and Wolfgang like the finest brew from the world’s most gargantuan mug. Oh right and I know what many are thinking: Mad Mike, it just couldn’t work without Michael Anthony on the bass. His high-pitched harmony vocals, one of the most underrated weapons in rock history, were what made Van Halen’s brand of hard rock extra special. I know, I agree! That’s the shocker because the Van Halen’s bring similar pitches themselves and while it ain’t the same, good gawd it works! If there is anything that shocked me above all else on this record, it’s that I can’t truly bring myself to missing Mike Anthony. As good as I hoped this record would be, that was the one element that I was sure I could not block out of my judgement. Turns out that I can. Unbelievable.

The one easily believable factor on this album is the blazing guitar work of Eddie Van Halen. I feel extremely stupid writing that because that has got to be one of the most self-evident statements in existence right after “water is wet” and “Thom Yorke is poison to my ears”. Anyhoo, just take a listen to As Is, Beats Workin’, Outta Space, The Trouble With Never…OK, even a fanboy like me is in awe at the amount of solid gold riffs and scorching solos that flood into my cortex. We’ve got the bluesy Stay Frosty that delightfully pays vibe-homage to Ice Cream Man from the band’s debut. You And Your Blues is the catchiest and most rewarding mid-tempo tune I've heard in probably years. The darker and moodier moments sprinkled here and there recall VH’s most underrated album classic, Fair Warning. Even the brain-splitting production job, both muscular yet rough around the edges, utterly crushes.

Is this doozy too rock-and-not-metal-hurrrrrr for some of our readers? Possibly. Is there anything new and artsy-innovative on this record? No. Does anyone do this feelgood-lifeaffirming-powerbomb-style better? No. Is this the best rock record of the year? Abso-fookin’-lutely.
Killing Songs :
All of 'em
Aleksie quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Van Halen that we have reviewed:
Van Halen - Best Of Volume I reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Van Halen - Van Halen III reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 40 / 100
Van Halen - Balance reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 72 / 100
Van Halen - Live: Right Here, Right Now reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Van Halen - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 15 reviews click here
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