"A Different Kind of Truth"
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I'll be the first to admit that I was expecting to not like Van Halen's new album, "A Different Kind of Truth," its first release in nearly 14 years. A funny thing happened on the way to the throw-'em-under-the-bus line, though: the VH boys delivered a pretty darn good collection of tunes.
I'd heard a lot of pre-release negativity surrounding "Truth," including the fact that some of the songs were rehashes of older, unreleased material. Case in point: the album's opener and lead single, "Tattoo," has been revealed as a revved-up version of "Down in Flames" which dates back to 1977.
Another notable "oldie" is "She's the Woman," a survivor from VH's Gene Simmons-financed demo, circa '76. I could go on and on, but the fact of the matter is that these and any other unearthed archives sound at least as vibrant as 99.9 percent of what is being passed off as present-day "hard rock."
The biggest reason to the album's retro vibe is, of course, the re-emergence of vocalist David Lee Roth. For many, Diamond Dave's spandex-clad, balls-in-your-face bravado is, was and always will be the essence of Van Halen.