Sound — 7
Upon finally hearing this allegedly terrible album about a week ago, I feel shocked that people dislike this album so very much. Alright, I'll admit the two new songs really are quite bad, but other than that, "A Different Kind of Truth" is decent music. It's the first full album of unheard material from Van Halen since 1998's "Van Halen III" and the first Van Halen album to have David Lee Roth on lead vocals since 1984's "1984." This is also the first Van Halen album to feature Eddie's son, Wolfgang on bass guitar, replacing Mike Anthony. So, that's a whole big old batch of "firsts" right there, but does this album live up to the hype?
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics overall tread a tightrope between being good and being extremely cheesy, with absolutely no lyrics being any better than "good," however, curiously enough, the lyrics work really well with the sounds of the guitar and all the other instruments. David Lee Roth's voice has definitely degraded a bit since 1984, the year and the album, which makes the background vocals seem mismatched with the lead. I found this to be most evident on the opening track "Tattoo," in which the background vocals screaming "tattoo, tattoo, tattoo" felt as though they were cut and pasted into the song from somewhere completely different. The overall nature of the songs lyrically, vocally and instrumentally, makes you want to sing along. Eddie's guitar solos are still great.
Overall Impression — 7
The demo songs from way back when are decent, but nothing spectacular and the two new tracks are bad, but for some odd reason, I get the feeling that's because of the fact that, the whole album other than those two tracks is unreleased stuff that was recorded in Van Halen's golden age and I'm willing to bet this would have worked a whole lot better if, oh, I don't know, maybe if Van Halen had written and recorded an entire album now, as opposed to what they actually did, which is throw together a bunch of old songs that didn't make the cut for any albums, then slap two new tracks onto the resulting oddity. Luckily, they seem to be recording new album material as I write this. So, in conclusion, this is a fun album, but nothing anybody really must own.