There is no one better than Van Halen to bring old-school rock and roll back! Which is precisely what they do in this ballad-free, hard rock album, A Different Kind of Truth, of which nearly seven tracks are based on material generated by Eddie and Roth in the 1970s. This is the twelfth studio album by Van Halen, featuring Wolfgang Van Halen as the bass guitarist for the first time and since 1984, the first full-length studio album to feature Roth as a front man.

Released on February 7th, 2012 on Interscope Records consisting of thirteen tracks, the album is 49:58 minutes long and the comeback all Van Halen fans have been waiting for!

Song Rating
Tattoo ★★★½☆
She’s The Woman ★★★☆☆
You and Your Blues ★★★½☆
China Town ★★★★☆
Blood and Fire ★★★★☆
Bullethead ★★★½☆
As Is ★★★★☆
Honeybabysweetiedoll ★★★☆☆
The Trouble With Never ★★½☆☆
Outta Space ★★★½☆
Stay Frosty ★★★★☆
Big River ★★★★½
Beats Workin’ ★★★½☆

Tattoo

And we’re off with a bluesy Eddie Van Halen riff followed by Roth singing about a tat-too, tat-too with tongue-in-cheek lyrics that blend with the times despite the overall 80s sound. “Show me your dragon magic!” Roth rasps and it’s as catchy as hell.

She’s The Woman

The highlight of this song: Eddie Van Halen’s guitar work. It’s stunning from start to finish!

You and Your Blues

On a woman whose nervous breakdowns and whose “bad mood’s permanent” makes the singer want to leave. Featuring an absolutely brilliant guitar solo, my amateur guitar-doting self longs to play this one on Guitar Hero someday.

China Town

When Roth lets out his celebratory “whoo” you can’t help but joining in. An electrifying combination of bass and drum work that Roth’s vocals blend in with like a pro.

Blood and Fire

A surprisingly mellow start for a song titled “Blood and Fire”. “We came we came we came through Blood and Fire,” Roth says followed by a blunt yet euphoric, “Told ya I was coming back.” Could’ve been an epic first single.

Bullethead

Bullethead, or ‘Bang Bang’ was believed to have been played at a club show in 1977 and one or two other times. It’s pretty standard stuff and comes close to being the title track, what with “B-b—b-bullethead/Got a different kind of true” being repeated over and over with conviction.

As Is

A strong track featuring another amazing guitar solo. Filled with energy and is reflective of total rockstar-ity. Roth matches Eddie Van Halen’s pace brilliantly!

Honeybabysweetiedoll

Steady drum lines that match EVH’s guitar work make this song. Lyrically, it’s kinda surreal.

The Trouble With Never

Lukewarm track compared to the other songs in the album. “Selective amnesia /is only a heartbeat away,” the singer rasps and it’s more creepy than anything.

Outta Space

An aptly named;  fun, truly out of this world track.

Stay Frosty

Quirky and kind of cornily brilliant song that starts out bluesy and ends with a bang!

Big River

VH clearly reserves their best for last. My favourite track of the album! The percussion beats are ridiculously amazing and while it probably won’t get your head bopping, it gets better with every listen.

Beats Workin’

While it doesn’t hold a candle to Stay Frosty and Big River, VH gives it their all in this track. Roth could not be more into it and EDH matches him note for note.

Album ★★★★★★★★½☆

Verdict: A Different Kind of Truth is the perfect comeback album mainly because of Van Halen’s ingenious idea of basing their songs on material conceptualized when they were young and at their peak. Their energy and spirit has clearly not died as the album features AMAZING EVH guitar solos that are sure to have left his fingers raw. Roth is equally awesome as a front man and it is great to hear Wolfgang Van Halen on the bass guitar.

Despite this being the first full-length Van Halen album I’ve listened to, I can see how A Different Kind of Truth would be a dream come true for any Van Halen fan out there!