This could have failed on so many levels: From inflated egos getting in the way to over-produced, over-written songs that bear some resemblance to good intentions to a simple loss of ability to pissed-off fans resenting the absence of Michael Anthony. Also, consider the fact that these reunion things rarely work out (i.e., KISS, Motley Crue, Bush, Limp Bizkit, Smashing Pumpkins), let alone endure. You don’t have to look much further than Van Halen during the ‘90s to see how short-lived a “reunion” can be.
Sure, Van Halen had its highest grossing tour ever with David Lee Roth a few years back, but getting the band back together for a tour is one thing; it’s something entirely different to do that, agree to write an album, get in the studio, write, release, and tour an album. It would seem to be destined to fail, which is why Van Halen might have opted to take a somewhat clandestine approach to the new album, A Different Kind of Truth.
As a longtime fan, A Different Kind of Truth satisfies. Scratch that; the new Van Halen album drastically exceeds expectations. It makes me proud to have stuck with them through the years (shit, I even bought Van Halen III, which I didn’t think was all that horrible), though I had grown tired of the feuding. Speaking of feuding, I’m not exactly thrilled that Wolfgang Van Halen is on this record in place of Michael Anthony. It kind of diminishes the “reunion” aspect of having Diamond Dave back in the saddle. However, Wolfie holds his own. Scratch that. Wolfie plays with more soul and precision than expected, but I don’t hear much aggression or hunger in it.
A Different Kind of Truth does a few things:
1. It makes Van Halen relevant again by unapologetically displaying their superior talent
2. It reestablishes Eddie Van Halen as the greatest hard rock guitarist – EVER!
3. It kicks your ass
4. It unifies the band
David Lee Roth has a charisma, an attitude, a swagger, a reference point like no other. It’s like he’s from outer space. He exists in a world beyond our own. His reality is his own, and he doesn’t give a shit if you get it. Whether he’s an insane or a genius savant isn’t for us to decide; we should focus on enjoying the ride.
AC/DC, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Ratt, Led Zeppelin, Queensryche