OU812 review by Van Halen

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  • Released: May 24, 1988
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 5.4 (5 votes)
Van Halen: OU812

Sound — 7
OU812 is Van Halen's second album with lead singer Sammy Hagar. This album seems to be more on a lighter sort of side than its predecessor "5150". Although, it is still loaded with synthesizer, which by this point, was definitely starting to become annoying for some Van Halen fans. I'm not going to lie, a good amount of this album is not enjoyable. In my opinion, this album represented what older Van Halen fans didn't like about the Sammy Hagar influenced band. Not that this is necessarily a bad album, its sound would certainly appeal to some fans out there, and you can tell that there was honest effort put into it. One thing that I have noticed particularly with this album, is that many of the guitar riffs are cool and very fun to play. The songs are bad, but the riffs are cool. For instance, the song "Finish What Ya Started", I honestly think it is a terrible song, but the guitar part is fun to play. The drum tone is slightly mediocre. It has a similarity to "5150" as in the snare drum sounds really mixed in with the bass drum, and the two hardly sound different. This is more prominent on "5150" though.

Lyrics — 5
This album marked the complete end of the David Lee Roth influenced Van Halen. "OU812" is definitely a Sammy Hagar signature. Sammy Hagar is a very talented singer and that cannot be denied. In fact, I honestly believe that vocally, Hagar is much more talented than Roth. However, when it comes to Van Halen, I simply prefer Roth. I personally did not enjoy many of the lyrics on this album. The music was interesting, but honestly the lyrics did not catch me at all. The lyrics seemed slightly cheesy in some places, and the performance isnt the most enjoyable.

Overall Impression — 7
This is one Van Halen album I honestly don't need. In all honesty, this is my second least favorite Van Halen album (second to Van Halen III). I just did not enjoy this that much. Granted, some of the solos are pretty good, and it shows that there was honest effort put into it. All in all though, this album shows the side of the band that simply did not appeal to me. Some of the guitar riffs, like I said, are fun to use as warm ups, but the songs are slightly mediocre. The album that followed this one was much better.

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