David Lee Roth
A Little Ain't Enough


3.5
great

Review

by Richard Warrell USER (16 Reviews)
November 24th, 2010 | 14 replies | 6,837 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: David Lee Roth is....David Lee Roth. Which is generally a very good thing, even if the schtick wears thin in places. Deceptive opening tracks mask the fact that Roth will never truly change.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

1991-2 was the period when many of the 80s rock giants released their final successful albums before the mainstream abandoned them. Roth's ego would never let him give up, though you might guess change was in the air from this release. On the opening track, you can tell Roth has mellowed. This realisation comes gradually – a “mellow” David Lee Roth is still as flamboyant and loud as the rest of the pop metal scene of the day.

Indeed this sounds more like a Roth solo release than any of his previous work. Aside from the vocals, everything’s lower in the mix. Roth still had quality players in his band, but they weren’t as famous as collaborators past – they were less of a selling point. That’s the first thing that stands out here. Obviously there are still guitar solos, but the music is more synthesisers led than he has ever been before.

All this rather neuters the music – which is a shame, the songwriting is as top notch as Roth ever achieved. It’s all there still, it just takes a more care to notice. Second track “Shoot It” still lacks the guitar pyrotechnics that dominated Roth’s work with Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai, but it’s an improvement – Roth sounds slightly more animated, and the huge horn section gives the music the large sound Roth needs to compete with. The transition from trying to be hip to slipping back into his comfort zone concludes with “Lady Luck” – a song which is vintage Roth with complimentary ridiculous solos from lead guitarist Jason Becker. From then on in, this album provides the standard David Lee Roth formula throughout.

The lyrics on A Little Ain’t Enough are the most impossible to understand Roth had uttered yet. Metaphors galore, it’s a confusing mess and hard to keep track of. Fortunately, Roth’s carefully honed persona has always been his selling point. His words carry the standard level of confidence, regardless of there being any sense to them.

All the key moments of a Roth album follow in the mid section of the album. “Tell the Truth” is one of those pop ballads that were the highlight of his previous two solo albums – Roth in rich, earthy voice, guitarist set to blues rampage. “Baby’s On Fire” the heavier riffing, more metal tune while “40 Below” is a stripped-back foot stomper in the style of classic Van Halen.

“Sensible Shoes” is a fairly standard R&B number, but the addition of harmonica and a particularly earthy vocal from Dave makes it stand out. A nice little experiment, with some honest sounding lyrics, the songwriting is more generic than the unusual performance however. Unfortunately, the final four tracks are complete re-treads of the album’s mid section. It’s a shame, as a listener you’re worn out at this point and want something a little different and interesting, and lurking among these four songs is “It’s Showtime” – the first time Roth truly recaptured the energy and youthful enthusiasm of Van Halen in his solo career. It’s a complete rip-off of “Hot for Teacher” from the chorus hook to the drum beat, but when it’s this good, who cares?

The album has its slow parts, but skip the poor tracks and an entire album’s worth of brilliant material – with equal measures of vintage or experimental sounding material – is here. Roth's star was not shining at its brightest, but in 1991, no one was gonna leave the party while Roth was still there - neither should you.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
WhiteNoise
November 24th 2010



3048 Comments


Tried reading his autobiography once, it was a huge huge mess. :S

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

LepreCon
November 24th 2010



3607 Comments


Eat Em And Smile is really the only Roth solo album worth the plastic it comes in, but good review

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 24th 2010



20019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Another great review man, this is Roth's second best solo album in my opinion.

TheRamblingElf
November 24th 2010



38 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Skyscraper's catchier, this has more substance. Tough call.

Nagrarok
November 24th 2010



8169 Comments


You've got some good writing going here, but what you really need is an intro paragraph.

A7XEric
November 24th 2010



305 Comments


Jason Becker om nom nom.

Awesomesauce
November 24th 2010



1083 Comments


This review starts half way through the review.

FatChickIrl
November 24th 2010



4096 Comments


Gonna check this out cuz album cover has Satan on it

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2010



20019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jason Becker sounds pretty good on this.

TheRamblingElf
November 25th 2010



38 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't use an introductory segment simply because I didn't feel much background context was needed for this album. It's a solo album with no real backstory to it - framing it with an intro would be more aesthetically pleasing but I felt it'd ultimately be wasted space. I deleted one I wrote.

Nagrarok
November 26th 2010



8169 Comments


That's wrong thinking though, no offense. Any good review needs both an intro and a conclusion, this just jumps right in, which is never good. Some readers may not all be familiar with the background, and there are actually a lot of readers who only really read the first and last paragraph. If you had a proper first paragrah, which shouldn't be too much trouble, it would be an easy pos.

TheRamblingElf
November 27th 2010



38 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh no offense is taken at all - this site would never be as worthwhile if everyone wasn't open to criticism.

I'll knock together a little opening line.

Nagrarok
November 27th 2010



8169 Comments


That makes a ton of difference.

this site would never be as worthwhile if everyone wasn't open to criticism.


Many new reviewers are not, which why I've become a little more careful in phrasing my criticism. You aren't off with a bad start at all; enough practice and you could write great reviews.

TheRamblingElf
November 28th 2010



38 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Main thing with my writing is it was always naturally wordy and I'm used to my university newspaper's tight word limits so I'm used to reigning myself in. Otherwise my stuff would be a million pages long.



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