Sound — 10
When Van Halen first released "1984," the opinion of some people was that the band had sold out, that keyboards were lame and that rock 'n' roll was dead. Alright, so maybe not that last thing, but the other two. Then, those very same people actually listened to the album and realized the one thing that really mattered: regardless of changes, "1984" was still, first and foremost, a Van Halen record. Sure they put keyboards in the mix, the most they ever had up to that point in time. That sure as heck couldn't change the fact that, at the end of the day, it was the hard rock band with a pop sensibility continuing to do what they did best. Make catchy hard rockin' songs.
Lyrics — 10
David Lee Roth sounds just as good as he did on Van Halen's self-titled freshman release, Alex Van Halen's drumming is some of the best he's ever done. Mike Anthony's bass lines, though at some points smothered by the keyboards, still sound pretty nice. Eddie Van Halen, thankfully, still gets to do his amazing guitar solos, without much interference. By the way, if I recall correctly, Eddie also plays the keyboards on this album, so he's a double threat. The lyrics, though not the band's best bunch, are good and mesh well with the music. Overall, it sounds just like any other Van Halen album, but with keyboards added, they are in no way a negative force.
Overall Impression — 10
I would say my favorite Van Halen albums would have to be this one and "Van Halen" (1978), because on their first album, they created the awesome 1980s rock music sound and on this album, "1984" (1984), they managed to adjust to the changing music scene around them, while still sounding like their own completely unique band. I liked the Sammy Hagar era, but let's be honest and truthful for a moment, that really WASN'T Van Halen, that was Sammy Hagar and an overload of keyboards, with the occasional Van Halen-sounding bits and pieces scattered throughout. This was the album on which a band of Rockers figured out a smart way to ride the trends of the time, with great end results.