Sound — 9
This album has the classic VH sound to it with a little modern kick to it. Eddie Van Halen's tone is dead on to his early stuff with a little more thickness in sound. Al's drums sound like they always have especially with "As Is" which takes you right back to the past with "Everybody Wants Some". Wolfie proves to the entire world why they don't need Michael Anthony with his thumping bass lines and near perfect background vocals, the bass lines can be heard more in this record than any other which is NOT a bad thing. DLR still has it, even though his voice seems strained in a couple songs he still is and will always be the front man to VH.
Lyrics — 7
Dave has always had great one liners through his career in Van Halen in songs like "Everybody Wants Some", "Hot For Teacher", and "Unchained". The one liners don't stop there with lines in "She's The Woman" and "Blood And Fire" just to name a few. The composition of some of the lyrics had me a little disappointed like in the songs "Tattoo" and even "Blood And Fire". To me they sound too cheesy to go along with Eddie's groovin' riffs. However, lyrics aren't the most important thing to me, especially in Van Halen, because almost all the attention is on Eddie's godly guitar work. The attention Dave gets is his flying kicks and bada-s screams. The bottom line is that your hearing DLR on a new VH album and that is all that matters to me.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this album is unbelievably good and VH proves how sweet comebacks can actually be. This album has bits and pieces of sound from all their previous albums with DLR with a big influence of modern sound. Let me get one thing straight. I've heard all the comments about how the album is made up of over half of old demos and frankly I wanted those songs on an album because they were do kicka-s and they did. They pleased both crowds by incorporating old and new material. The new material they do have is fantastic; it sounds heavy and it sounds like Van Halen. I would be surprised if they don't hit #1 on Billboard because they made an album worthy of that rank. All I have to say is I hope you choke on your words Sammy because Van Halen is back.