Van Halen III|
Artist: Van Halen
Last Reviewed On: August 1, 2000 (by Michelle)
on August 1, 2000
Van Halen III is an interesting album to say the least. No, it isn't your typical Van Halen fare. VH III opens with "Neworld", perhaps a fitting opener considering the fact this album is quite a bit of a step out from the usual VH rock. A "New World" so to speak. I like it though, it's almost as if to say 'welcome to the new VH, sit down, open your ears, and see if you get what we're trying to do". "Without You" the first, and only hit single from the album is a song that defiantly gets you thinking, right on, VH did it again! The rest of the album is filled with songs like "one I want", with it's oh so Cherone style lyrics. And I give the guy credit, he brings back a DLR type of lyrical style, that has been missing throughout the Sammy years. Though, the first thing you notice with this song is that Gary doesn't sound like himself. He has a great voice, and it has always been captured amazingly on all of Extreme's records, but somehow, this time, it isn't right. He sounds strained, and it can grate on your ears. But being a VH fan, I really want to love this album, the music is great, but the production, in a word, stinks. Which is too bad, cause I think if Gary's singing had been captured right, and the production better, this album really could have shined.
Again however, we have the what-has-become-too-typical-VH-pop-ballad, only this time they manage to take it a step further, they practically hit adult contemporary status with "Once". Why they choose to do this, I don't know. Stretching their legs I spose, which in itself is a good thing, but I really don't like this kind of thing on a Van Halen album. It doesn't belong, and it doesn't fit. No matter how much I want to like it.
"Josephina" has a very Queen feel to it. Which is good. I love Queen, and Extreme had that influence as well, which was nice to see carried over. Still, the song lacks something, possibly more production problems. That just plagues this album to it's core. "Year to the day" is clearly an album highlight. Like "Feelin'" from Balance, it has passion, and feeling to it, and an amazing guitar solo. I hope they continue to do songs like this. It shows the maturity of the band more then anything else they do in my opinion. Then of course the album closes with "How Many Say I". This is a song that is better left on a Roger Waters album. First time Eddie sings lead, probably the last. And that's fine. I view this album as an experiment. Not a failed one either, just an experiment. And we all know the reason a person experiments is to learn, and this album to me, is one huge lesson. Hopefully, the lessons learned will only make the next record that much better.
-- Scott and Michelle