Fair Warning Review

artist: Van Halen date: 08/27/2008 category: compact discs
Van Halen: Fair Warning
Released: Apr 29, 1981
Genre: Rock
Styles: Arena Rock, Album Rock, Hard Rock, Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
Number Of Tracks: 9
Along with their self-titled debut and 1984, Fair Warning is an undisputed Van Halen masterpiece.
 Sound: 8.7
 Lyrics: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) 6 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Fair Warning Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 11, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: If your a serious guitar player this album is for you, many will say VH is the best rock/metal album of all time but if thats true, and I'm sure it is, then Fair Warning is certaily the second, many bands and guitarists like John Petrucci and Joe Satch owe much to this legendary band. The opening track Mean Street is jaw dropping, aggressive and pure intoxication. The vocals of David Lee Roth are equally mesmerising and the magical fusion of Dave's voclas and Eddie's riffs made this band arguably the Greatest Rock Band for a decade and more, unfortunately this was never repeated with Hagar or Cherone. There are some very fine melodic and synth moments that show the direction that Van Halen were moving towards like Diver Down and 1984. Alex is fantastic on percussion and is reminiscent of John Bonham, Mike Anthony's funky bass lines add an extra dimesnion of fluidity texture and overall brilliance. // 10

Lyrics: David Lee Roth was and could still be the greatest front man ever. I'd hate to compare him to Bono, Plant, Cobain, Freddie Mercury or Axl Rose because they are all great, but that vocal swerving intensity fused with the rest of Van Halen put them, in my opinion as the greatest rock act ever. // 10

Overall Impression: If it was stolen, the guy wouldn't know what had hit him. // 10

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overall: 6.7
Fair Warning Reviewed by: josh w c, on february 11, 2008
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Van Halen (in the david lee roth era) were an amazing band with a fantastic sound, but I have to say that for me Fair Warning, their 4th album, just didn't live up to previous ones. The sound is darker and more aggressive which in theory would have been fine, but it just doesn't seem to come off. Eddie's guitar sound is similar to the other albums yet the solos aren't as good in my view, and the songs seem as if they were put together quickly and without too much thought, as if the band were just on autopilot at this stage. // 7

Lyrics: Van Halen lyrics have never been particularly deep or thoughtful because that wasn't the point, but at this point roth was just getting a bit ridiculous, one of the reasons he fell out with eddie. His vocal style suits the music and the appeal of his lyrics was that they were catchy and fun, and I suppose that on this album they weren't too different. // 7

Overall Impression: To be honest I'm surprised so many Van Halen fans favour this album as for me it still sounds patchy and unconvincing, even after many listens. The songs just don't seem to have the same exciting punch that Van Halen I and II had. 'Unchained' is the obvious single of the album but it sounds too repetetive and drawn out, and the synth piece 'Sunday Afternoon In The Park' is pretty pointless, though I guess it might have been good at the time. The only highlights come with the funky sound of 'Push Comes To Shove' as well as 'Hear About It Later', which is a good development of the van halen sound. If I somehow lost this album I guess I wouldn't worry too much, as long as I still had their earlier work and 1984. Bear in mind that my ratings are based on their other albums which is why I'm being quite critical of a great band. // 6

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overall: 9
Fair Warning Reviewed by: Fuzzbox91, on august 27, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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