New Van Halen Track By Track #1 (instant review)

Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth comes out Feb 7  but we’ve got our hands on it already.  We’ll give you a track by track review of it as we listen.

Track 1 – “Tattoo” From the very first notes, you know it’s Van Halen.  Alex’s signature drum sound and Eddie’s squealing guitar are intact.  Keyboards on top give it a 1984 flavor.  Kind of plods along like “Don’t Tell Me What Love Can Do.”  Not much melody, chorus isn’t real strong either – kind of spoken rather than sung.  But the song does have some pretty clever lines: “Why is the crazy stuff we never say / poetry in ink?”  It’s good to hear Eddie actually doing his trademark two-hand tapping – he got away from that during the Hagar years.  The slow-burn ending is nice too.  But, not sure this was the best song to release first, and start the album.

Track 2 – “She’s the Woman” Now this sounds like the real deal – great riff.  Reminds of “Mean Streets.” Opens with some classic Eddie wah wah, nice pulsing bassline from Wolfie.  Everything about this sounds old – it’s the way they used to do background vocals.  And, it’s short, under three minutes.  This track actually dates way back to 1976, from the demo that eventually got them signed to Warner Bros.  There’s a version of this on youtube that’s from back then – and, guess what?  This version is better.  Dave’s singing on this one is fabulous.  Great melodic solo.  This should’ve been the lead single.  Everything about this kicks ass.  If you download one song from the new VH, this needs to be it.