Review Summary: Jump!!!!... as far away from this CD as humanly possible!!!!
Well, they just had to make a comeback. The legendary rockers known for arena anthems like "Jump!" and their ability to make people drive down the street with the tunes at full blast, singing "PAN-A-MA!!!" at the top of their lungs hadn't done, well, anything since 1998, and alas, they make a comeback with David Lee Roth back on vocals. Seems like a good idea, right? After their rather inexplicable choice to fire Hagar in favour of. More extreme vocalist, it's nice to have DLR officially back.
Well, on paper, maybe.
It seems like there's a trend going on with these "comebacks". Just simply scrape up trash from the cutting room floor and store it in a compost heap until it's ready to go for the album, re-record it, then throw it carelessly in a CD. Because the fans will buy anything, right? Sadly, yes. Even if the band's age is starting to show like an immature, porn-addicted 14 year old boy's sperm from constantly jerking off under a black light. And speaking of age showing, a good example is "Stay Frosty". Those vocals... man, it's actually quite depressing. Mind you DLR began losing those pipes a long time ago, but here it's just sad to hear it. One must wonder why none of the members halted recording to pull him aside and tell him, "look man, just... quit it. Please."
Anyways, so with 14 years between Van Halen III
and this, you'd think they'd at least have tried to make a decent effort with this album, right? Nope. They do what I said above- scrape some crap from the cutting room floor up, re-record it and unleash it upon the fans to devour and pretend it's even good in the first place. A lot of this album is stuff that is too ***ty to even be considered b-sides. So let's call them C-sides... Nah, maybe D-sides.
Of the songs on this album, there's maybe two I actually enjoyed. "As Is" takes a little while to get going, but is an overall fun song, even if you can't stand Dave's rambling. It's faster paced, has some crunchy riffs and while it's no "Hot for Teacher", it's a good tune. "China Town" is also a fun tune, and it's very reminiscent of 1984
And sadly that's where it ends.
Don't get me started on how awful the opening track is, "Tattoo". A rather mid tempo tune with softer verses, which isn't so bad after all, but the singing is, predictably, terrible, and the lyrics are just godawful. They make Steel Panther's lyrics seem like masterpieces, as well as Judas Priest's "Let's all join forces/rule with an iron hand/and prove to all the world/metal rules the land". And that chorus too. "Tattoo, tattoo"... Ugh, I'm getting suicidal urges just thinking about it. But those lyrics. Here's but a taste:
Smokin' day-glow red
Purple mountains majesty
Show me you, I'll show you me
Swap meet Sally
Tramp Stamp Tat
Mouse-wife to Mom-shell in the
time it took to get that new tattoo
Let's not even get started on "sexy dragon magic!". Moving on. "Stay Frosty", which I mentioned above is equally as bad, if maybe worse. It's a rehash of "Ice Cream Man" (I hate that song as well), and it's a boring acoustic ballad for the first 80% before the band comes in. "She's the Woman" is also ruined by the awful lyrics:
Fate is my pimp
But she was cool
Says "If you're doin' business with me honey,
what does that make you?"
Some Casablanca gin joint
You're a nervous wreck
Your IQ plummets fourteen points
Her thunder thong
around your neck
The song ain't dirty
It's really just the way I sing it
She's the woman
My IQ did indeed plummet 14 points. Which is sad, because the song itself has a catchy riff, though it doesn't ever really go anywhere with it. "Honeyblahblahblah" (they have to be trolling us with these titles) has Dave's talking again... Need I cotinue?
Perhaps if the band had released this after Van Halen III
, I'd have been just a tad forgiving, but no, this is the sound of a band wellmpast their prime, and old enough to know better, embarrassing themselves with such silly trash that would have been laughed at in the eighties. For this to be their first album in fourteen years is really disgraceful. You won't hear this playing anywhere but biker clubs where douchey men in their 50s with balding mullets constantly fight each other over throwaway "your mom" jokes, that's for sure.