Sound — 10
Van Halen rips a hole in the music universe with their debut album, "Van Halen". From first glance, the album emits pure greatness: the unique album cover is enough to lure you into listening to it! It's not good to judge a book by it's cover, but this album is an exception. When you first begin to listen to the album, the intro is a blast of creativity and greatness. When you hear the beginning riffs to "Runnin' With The Devil", you simply get chills. But when it comes to David Lee Roth's vocals, they are unmatched! His signature screams and hollars are the perfect introduction to what would be Van Halen's signature sound. The harmonious background vocals from Eddie Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony are just another great addition to the band. Eddie Van Halen's guitar skills were not shown on the intro song to the album. But Eddie will soon create a whole new meaning to what guitar playing really is with the second track, "Eruption". Not only does Eddie show that a great guitar solo doesn't need to be 10 minutes long, but he also shows how to get the true potential out of a guitar. His talent really comes out with his amazing guitar solo. The talent only continues with "You Really Got Me", which is a remake of a song by The Kinks. Van Halen makes the entire song sound brand new, and Eddie brings his real potential into the song, which was not shown in the intro track. The previous songs seem terrible compared to the Van Halen super hit, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love". The intro riff is just amazing, and with this song Eddie Van Halen makes his guitar playing unmatched by any other guitar player. The tempo changes to a more upbeat pace with the next song, "I'm The One". This track is most like the first gaze into what Van Halen's future sound would most be like: the harmonious backup vocals, Dave's screeching lead vocals, and Eddie's real potential coming out in each song. This future gaze continues with another Van Halen mega-hit, "Jaime's Cryin'". The guitar work on this song as well as the entire album is just great, as is every other part of the band. The sound from "I'm The One" returns in "Atomic Punk", which is another fast paced, hard rocker. The sound of "You Really Got Me" comes back a little faster in "Feel Your Love Tonight", which is a very enjoyable song. Van Halen needs to show their talent in more areas than moderate hard rock and fast hard rock, so the band comes slow but heavy in "Little Dreamer", which is one of my favorite songs off the album. The harmonious backup vocals that echo after Dave sings are just mesmerizing. The band changes the music world with this song, also, as they show you can make a slow, hard rock song without it being a ballad. The group's talent continues to show with the next track, "Ice Cream Man". Diamond Dave shows his guitar abilities on an acoustic guitar, and he drags his personality throughout the entire song. Right around halfway through the song, the rest of the band kicks in with electric guitar, bass, and signature Alex Van Halen drum talent. To end the album on a fast paced note, the final song off this album is "On Fire". This song is most like "Atomic Punk", and keeps you thinking about the entire band's talent as the album ends. Between Diamond Dave's signature vocal abilities, Eddie's flawless and groundbreaking guitar playing, Michael Anthony's talented bass playing, and Alex Van Halen's perfect drum talent, Van Halen makes the perfect name for itself with this debut album.
Lyrics — 10
Diamond David Lee Roth's vocals on this album are just flawless alone, but his natural charisma just puts his performance over the top. His sound and charisma is what really helped bring Van Halen over the top and made them really stand out. However, Eddie Van Halen and Michael Anthony's backup vocals are just outstanding. In a few of these songs they begin to find those great, harmonious background vocals that would dominate the rest of their albums with Diamond Dave. The lyrics for every song on this album are just great, hard rock lyrics, which David Lee Roth pulls off flawlessly. A truly believe that a few songs such as "Ice Cream Man" would not sound as great if any other rock singer performed them. Diamond Dave is the icing on the cake when it comes to all of these songs.
Overall Impression — 10
Van Halen's debut album is just a masterpiece. The band breaks through the music barrier and shatters the old perception about music altogether. Eddie Van Halen may be the driving force behind this, as he completely sets a new barrier for guitar players around the world for generations to come. I personally enjoy each one of the songs on this album, but the most impressive songs off this album have to be: 1. Eruption/You Really Got Me 2. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love 3. Runnin' With The Devil 4. Ice Cream Man 5. Jaime's Cryin' I cannot believe that there would be anything off this album that anyone could hate. The entire band hits the intellectual goldmine when it comes to this album, as every song is an incredibly enjoyable thrill ride. If this album were stolen, the thief would be subject to a David Lee Roth-style roundhouse kick to the face! Van Halen makes the world scream their name with this album, and the world would continue to for years to come.