First of all, i just want to say that it is a pleasure to be back. Ever since the downfall of mxtabs.com I completely alienated the site. I now realize that that was quite foolish of me, and want to change that with this review. I was originally going to do 5150, but since someone just beat me to it, this will have to do.
The year is 1980. A new decade, a fresh start, and yet all is the same for Van Halen. After 2 studio efforts and non stop touring, David Lee Roth, Micheal Anthony, Alex Van Halen and Edward Van Halen return to the studio yet again to build on their skyrocketing success. Although this is not their best album from the Dave days, it still kicks major ass. But thats a given, its Van Halen for christ sake!
1. And The Cradle Will Rock...: A wicked pick-sliding into, that turns into a pretty good tune. What one might notice is that all four instruments are equal sounding (guitar, bass, drums, voice). There is no dominating force behind this track, except Edwards incredible guitar playing (naturally). Right when you think Ed's solo is only a tiny tapping bit, Dave says "Have you seen junior's grave?" followed by the pick-slide intro and more solo. Quite genious if you ask me. Despite this, the song could be so much better. 3/5
2. Everybody Wants Some!!: This song, despite many people thinking otherwise, is not one of Van Halens best songs. The intro is a tom beat courtesy of Alex, with Dave howling like Tarzan in the back ground. When Eddie's guitar does come its basically simple chords with his effects pedals in overdrive. The best attribute of the song is Mike's bass bit, which is superb, and Ed's solo. The solo is actually not as hard as you might think, but it saves the song from being the worst VH song ever. 2.5/5
3. Fools: This is a great tune all around. Incredible guitar throught out the whole song, which turns into a blusey kinda number. Dave hollers and yelps wit glee as the song begins to take speed into the first verse. The solo is a thing of beauty, but it is just a tad too short, which I think we can live without because there are plenty of other songs with crazy solo's out there. Mike's bass is also way good, which is a first because this is the album that most people actually get to hear it without listening specifically for it. The only bad thing about this song is the outro, which fades out pretty quickly, but who really cares? 4.5/5
4. Romeo Delight: Jesus Christ, what a song!!! Very rockin' tune, with a great solo and everything. Again, Mikes bass shines through, but Ed's guitar is far better. This is exactly what Van Halen is all about, everyone contributing to bring together one of their finest tracks ever, although they refuse to see it that way. To those of you who were wondering, this is the opening song they played when they did the US Festival in 1983, which I highly recomend you watch. Just look on limewire. KICK ASS SONG! 4/5
5. Tora! Tora!: This is just an instrumental intro to the next song, which kicks major ass. This is bt far their worst instrumental intro of them all. Not worth listening to, but have a go if you want. 1/5
6. Loss Of Control: OH MY GOD!!! After Romeo Delight, you think that they cannot possibly get much faster, but HERE WE GO!!! This song starts off with Ed, Dave and Mike goofing aroung making May-Day calls over a fake P.A. (which is quite entertainint). A very fast pased, high energy tune with no time for a breather at all. Ed's guitar work is his best yet out of the first three albums. The only bad thing about this song is that it is kind of short, but who gives a ***? The best song of the entire album. 5/5
7. Take Your Whiskey Home: This is yet another great song. It begins with Ed playing the accoustic guitar, with Dave singing lightly in the back ground. Eventually, this song turns into a hard rockin' song with some more amazing guitar, from Ed. This isn't the only song VH did wit accoustic guitars, but it's one of their best. Yet another classic that they refuse to play live. Such a shame. 4/5
8. Could This Be Magic?: This is Van Halen's first song done entirely with accoustic guitars. Ed Mike provide the gutiars, with Dave and Al singing. Ed guest sings during the chorus. This is surprisingly a great song with a very good (short) solo. Too bad it's only one of few accoustic songs. Maybe in the future... 4/5
9. In A Simple Rhyme: A pretty good closer to an ok album, this is yet another song that Van Halen will not do live for whatever reason. During the chorus, Mike's bass is quite extrodinary in sound, considering that they did not specially pump the volume of the bass up. Mike and Ed's voice harmonize beautifully together during the chorus and other parts. Ed's solo is pretty good, but should be a touch longer (a constant theme throughout the entire album). If the outro sounds weird to you, its because it's a short ten second instrumental that was left out of the remasterd version called "growth". Not worth listenin to, as it was originally used as in intro to another song, which I can't remember what it was now. Still a great song, but the outro killed it a bit. 3.5/5
As for the album in general, it only deserves a 3.5/5 because this is not one of Van Halen's best efforts. Most of the songs are songs that they wrote when they were just beginning to write instrumentals which explains why some of the solo's are cut short in some cases...because Ed forgot them. You can still tell how much talent this band has though, which proves that it's still an ok album. Its a good thing that they did better albums after this one, otherwise they would have probably been know as a one hit wonder, and wouldn't that be scary. On that note, thanks for reading.