Van Halen
Diver Down


3.0
good

Review

by Kevin USER (7 Reviews)
June 13th, 2007 | 9 replies


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Overall, this album is pretty average. It's full of good songs, but it also carries a lot of average songs too.

By 1982, Van Halen had already cemented their status as one of the greatest rock bands in history. Their previous albums, Van Halen, Van Halen II, and Women and Children First were great successes on the charts and had already earned them a huge fan base. Despite success, in 1981, during the recording of their fourth album, Fair Warning, tensions began to rise. Eddie Van Halen's desire to experiment with more serious songs and complex structures was at odds with Roth's pop instincts and increasingly cartoonish, irony-laden persona. Then came this album, Diver Down

Diver down certainly is a more experimental album. Almost all gone are the hard rock songs like Ain't Talking Bout Love. This album has a more calm feel to it. Although Eddie Van Halen still shows his excellent guitar skills. The album begins with the average Where Have All The Good Times Gone?. It's a good song, but there's really nothing mind blowing about it. The album continues to be average with the next song Hang Em High. Again, the song is good, but there's nothing special about it. David Lee Roth's voice can get a tad bit annoying after awhile, so it's a good thing there are a few short intrumentals on this album.

Cathedral is a short song, but it's beautiful. It's a song to glorify Eddie Van Halen's guitar skills, but it's different than that of Eruption or Spanish Fly. Organs and guitar combined, it really does make you feel like you're in a cathedral. Along the same lines, but sounding completely different is Intruder. It's full of pounding drums and weird guitar playing. Only clocking in at 1:39, it feels as though it should've been longer. However, it's still a nice song. Like I said earlier in the review this album is full of calm songs that aren't very characteristic for Van Halen. Secrets, a single form the album, is full of calm guitar and Roth's voice fits well with the mood of the song.

The calmest song of all on Diver Down is Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now). It sounds like it could be right out of the 50's. It even has some clarinet playing and a clarinet solo courtesy of Jan Van Halen, Alex and Eddie's father. The best song on Diver Down is probably (Oh)Pretty Woman, another single. The song is catchy all the way through and has great playing by everyone in it. Even David Lee Roth's voice is good in this song. Throughout this album, Eddie Van Halen's skills are always shining through everyone else's in the band. He doesn't have to play with heavy distortion to be good. Alex Van Halen also does a nice job of keeping the beat the whole time. Michael Anthony's bass does an excellent job accompanying the drums too.

The only bad thing about the music aspect of it is David Lee Roth's voice. Like I said many times, he voice can get annoying and maybe even ruin a song all together. Roth's voice can suit a few songs though. Especially the last song on the album, Happy Trails. Nothing but singing from what sounds like all 4 members. It's just a short song telling us goodbye, but it's a great funny song.

Overall, this album is pretty average. It's full of good songs, but it also carries a lot of average songs too.

Recommended Songs
(Oh) Pretty Woman
The Full Bug
Cathedral
Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)


3/5



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user ratings (270)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Daniel Dias (3.5)
Diver Down is a bit of an underrated album for Van Halen, but it still makes up for a very interesti...


Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnXDoesn't
June 13th 2007


1282 Comments


good review. this is my favorite VH album

Erratic
June 13th 2007


1120 Comments


I'm a lot more satisfied with this than I am my Twisted Sister review.

Erratic
June 13th 2007


1120 Comments


Thanks. I've just had a lot of time on my hands lately. I'm grounded for most of the summer for almost getting arrested and taken to juvy.

shindip
June 29th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is definitely not Van Halen's best by far, but is a very easy listen with some very interesting guitar hooks. The filler manages to even provide entertainment.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Practically the exact opposite of its dark & gritty predecessor 'Fair Warning', Van Halen's 5th LP 'Diver Down' plays out more like a B-Sides compilation than a proper album. The Californian quartet apparently had their hand forced by the record label to rush the release & record many covers... And you can tell, since 5 of the 12 tracks are covers, while 3 more are introductory instrumentals! Oddly, it still plays out as rather fun & entertaining, but 'Diver Down' is ultimately too messy & inconsistent to be rated highly. Recommended Tracks: Hang 'Em High, Pretty Woman & Where Have All the Good Times Gone?

FittyStim
August 13th 2012


6 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

The absolute worst VH album (including III).

The poor quality is understandable when one realizes how much drugs and booze were flowing through the veins of the band members during this era.

This album is a major F.O. to all Van Halen fans. It screams "We don't care about anything".

The first four albums are rockin' and awesome. This is a joke. Cover after cover. Boring originals. The only good song is Little Guitars (thanks to the intro).

This album is comparable to Mötley Crüe's Theater of Pain. Both bands were so chemically out of it that they just threw together a piece-of-shiite filler album and got lucky with a hit (Pretty Woman and Home Sweet Home).

omnipanzer
August 13th 2012


21536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not even close Fitty.

Davil667
April 3rd 2014


413 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Almost forgot how much i dig this. Feeling pretty nostalgic while listening to this atm.

Where the hell have all the good times gone?

gocsa666
September 18th 2014


124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, it's one of those albums that's definitely not the best, but it's not like you're sitting it through waiting for it to end. The songs are a lot of fun and they're performed by not just competent but great musicians (despite all the drugs and alcohol that must have been in them during the recording sessions).



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