Sound — 9
The sound is much more refined than previous efforts, the drums, bass, and guitar and vocals sound as clear as day, eddies riffs are genius, he really shines as a rythm player on this album. the riffs to unchained and hear about it later are some of my favorites. He drop tunes his guitar on unchained which gives it a really heavy sound which I like. My one complaint is that his solos aren't as good as they usually are, it seems that he kind of threw some of them in there, he seems to use a formula of whammy/sliding with occaisonal bursts of tapping. There are of course exeptions, the Mean Streats, and One foot out the door solos are amazing, and his intros are nothing short of brilliant. Keyboards make an appearence in Sunday afternoon in the park and one foot out the door, I think it's a great addition to the album whether people like it or not. Alex Van Halen seems to have imrpoved as a drummer on this album, he tryes new beats and ideas instead of the same old same old he was doing on VH1. Also, Push comes to Shove is a far cry from the loud rock they usually do, but it works out real well, it is one of their most unique and awesome tracks.
Lyrics — 9
This album is dave on full blast, he sneers and snarls and writes some of the snottiest lyrics van halen has ever done. You wont find any love ballads on here, it's usually dave talking down to the world. Daves vocals are unique as usual but he seems to have a cynical tone to him that he doesnt't on other albums, I like this aspect of the album. he sings about everything from the ghetto to having an affair. the one thing is that Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth are two very different people and it really shows on this album, Eddie is usually smiling in pictures and in interviews he's always pretty happy, and that is reflected in his solos, sometimes that just doesnt't fit when dave is angry at the world or whatever. Dave can get really rediculous too. One thing I never liked was the "breakdown" to unchained where dave starts going "whooooooohoooo, that suit is yoooouu" it kind of kills the vibe of the song. there are also a lot of "wow dave must be a real asshole" moments on this album, but when are there not. I much like the angrier dave, his lyrics combined with the improved drumming and riffing make this album heavier than anything they've ever done. also you might be suprised to hear Dave drop the F bomb along with other swears on this album.
Overall Impression — 9
Van Halens 1 and II were rock albums, this is a metal album in many ways, if you are a Van Halen fan or even a rock/metal fan you owe it to yourself to listen to this album, it has some amazing riffs, drum beats, and some good solos as well. Not to meantion it is so much different from anything van halen has ever done and it shows a different side of them, Fair Warning is probably my favorite Van Halen album, because it is more diverse than anything Van Halen has ever done, and unfortunatly instead of rolling with this style they went back to the party rock group they were before which is too bad because I really liked the way this album sounded. they sound almost like a different band here and I say that in a good way. the only dud track on here is Dirty Movies which I just find kind of boring, other than that Fair Warning is great all the way through and I strongly recommend checking it out.