Sound — 8
Vandenberg is the earliest work and introduction of guitar virtuoso Adrian Vandenberg. Named after their sole guitarist, the dutch hard rock group released their debut album in 1982. This album is almost perfectly on the line between the classic rock and popular heavy metal trending at the time. I've always described them as a "European Van Halen", which is a some-what accurate description of their sound. Their moderate use of harmonized guitar solos make a very creative icing on top of their more 70's style classic rock progressions. Adrian does get pretty creative with his solos on this record, as well as providing a solid rhythm section. However, not a lot of music on this record is terribly special. It sounds just like a lot of the other hard rock that was being pumped out at the time.
Lyrics — 7
The most famous song from this album (and from Vandenberg themselves) is the album's only single "Burning Heart". This song can be found on many 80's rock compilations and contains one of my personal favorite guitar solos of all time. Throughout this record, the lyrics are sufficient, but just like the music, not too special either. The singer's accent is very deep and easily noticeable. Also, since they were a European band, and it was their first release, their understanding of the English language probably wasn't perfect. It certainly reflects in parts of the lyrics.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall, this is a pretty decent record. Its got some catchy tunes, some decent singing, some good guitar work, but its definitely not the best work ever done. This band never quite got the chance to prove themselves as they disbanded 5 years later. Adrian later went on to work with Whitesnake and other heavy rock acts. "Burning Heart" is probably the best song from the record. It was the only Vandenberg song that went anywhere. Several songs do honestly have some really cool guitar parts. I would definitely recommend this to young rock guitarists who are looking for a step forward in their playing. All in all, its ok. If it went missing, I'd probably miss "Burning Heart", but probably not the whole album.