Blase', radio friendly nonsense
Van Halen forged a path to the top of the world of rock, with David Lee Roth's outlandish antics (and highly intelligent direction) coupled with Edward Van Halen's insane guitar theatrics. Michael Anthony and Alex Van Halen were one of the rock world's truly elite rhythm sections and together the star power of the REAL Van Halen was an inferno that unfortunately burned itself out during it's own meteoric rise.
With the addition of Sammy Hagar, Edward Van Halen found a lead singer who was interested in ballads, further keyboard experimentation and competition with the AOR rock bands of the day. "5150", the band's (and best) album with Sammy Hagar, showed a new Van Halen operating, one that was apparently a bit more interested in hit singles that kicking your butt with raw power. Edward was able to take the band in the direction/success that "Jump" hinted at, and "5150" was a smash success.
The downside is that Edward's guitar tone is lost, Alex relies as much on drum machines and electronics as he does on actual percussion, and the album is mired down by love songs. It's not the Van Halen that Van Halen fans grew up with and a brave new world was upon us...or was it a SAFE new world?
In any regards, the problems for Van Halen as a band were only beginning...Read full review