“A Different Kind of Truth” is Van Halen’s first studio album since 1998’s disappointing “Van Halen 3” and the band’s first with David Lee Roth on vocals since 1983’s “1984.” I was skeptical after hearing the first single, “Tattoo,” but after positive word of mouth, I decided to give ADOKT a listen. I sure am glad I did. ADKOT is a time machine back to the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when Eddie Van Halen was THE guitar hero, David Lee Roth was a leather pants-wearing screamin’ demon, and Van Halen meant wild nights and wilder women.
I don’t know why “Tattoo” is the first single. It’s not a bad song and it has grown on me, but it isn’t anywhere close to being the best song on the album. ADOKT really starts to pick up steam on the second track, “She’s the Woman,” which is outstanding. The bulk of the album sounds a lot like “Van Halen,” with a little bit of “Fair Warning” thrown in on the heavier tracks like “China Town” and “As Is.” With the exception of “Blood and Fire” (which is the only song that sounds remotely like it would fit on “1984” or any Van Hagar album) and the beginning of “Stay Frosty” (a throwback to “Ice Cream Man” on “Van Halen”), this is pretty much a non-stop EVH shred fest that doesn’t let up. There isn’t a bad song from start to finish.
ADKOT is an outstanding album on the merits of its sound alone. Considering the turbulence the band has gone through since “Van Halen 3,” ADKOT is nothing short of a triumph. Hopefully, Eddie and Diamond Dave can stay on good terms, because we could sure use another 10 or 15 years of this.
Score: 9.0 out of 10
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