For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge review by Van Halen

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  • Released: Jun 17, 1991
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (17 votes)
Van Halen: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

Sound — 8
Van Halen's ninth studio album "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" also known as "F.U.C.K" is VH's third studio album with singer Sammy Hagar. By 1991, Van Halen hand established their new sound with Hagar, and many fans had turned away in disappointment. So is this album just another piece of audible crap from Van Hagar? Not exactly. This one is actually done well. Starting with the tone of the guitar and the drums, It sounds like they wanted to return to their rock and roll roots with this album. As a matter of fact, that is how the album was marketed. This was the first album recorded without Eddie's Marshall Plexi amplifier, he instead used a 1989 Soldano head, which brings a new and interesting tone to the album. The album is opened with an electric drill being held against the strings. An effect done previously, and honestly better by Paul Gilbert, but it still makes an awesome The drums are also very raw, which I took as a musical compliment. The drums are more driving in this album than any other VH album, in my opinion. Not every song is excellent on this album, but it sure has a lot of excellent selections.

Lyrics — 8
The best way to start the review of the lyrics is to start with the cleverly thought out album title. Given that there was a lot of controversy surrounding censorship at this time, Hagar and the band wanted to respond by simply name the album "F*CK". Then, believing that the word was an acronym for the phrase "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge", the title was born. Though this is a false belief, it still makes for a kickin' album title. As far as the lyrics themselves, they aren't the most impressive I have heard from VH, and lost me during some songs. However, they seem to coincide with the music incredibly well. Its obvious that there was time spent on the musical development of the songs. Though I personally prefer David Lee Roth as VH's frontman, Hagar proved his own worth with this album. It mustn't be forgotten that Hagar is very talented himself. It shows on this record.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this is actually a pretty good record. Granted it is Van Hagar but to be honest, Its the only Van Hagar album I actually liked. It was marketed as their return to their roots and it seemed to do just that, but still explore some new territory. I think by this time, Van Halen was coinciding well with Hagar. It takes some time to adapt to a new front man and writer and this is definitely the best work they ever did with him. The albums best songs are "Poundcake", "Judgement Day", "Pleasure Dome", "Runaround", "Top of the world" and "Right Now". "Right Now" is particularly nice not just because it replaced the outdated, cliche synthesizer with an actual piano, but because it sounds like a Meat Loaf song being performed by VH. Its truly awesome. It still doesn't top anything that the band did with David Lee Roth, but it still proves that they cared about making good music, even after changing singers. It is at the very least, worth a listen.

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