Q (1/01, p.131) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...[This album] remains their best variation on the theme since their first record, housing both Eddie's most dynamic riffs and Roth's best gibberish lyrics..."
Van Halen: David Lee Roth (vocals); Eddie Van Halen (guitar, background vocals); Michael Anthony (bass, background vocals); Alex Van Halen (drums).
Recorded in 1981.
Digitally remastered by Chris Bellman.
Also available with "Women And Children First" on 1 cassette.
Audio Remasterer: Chris Bellman.
A classic and gritty riff opens "Mean Street," and Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth are off and running. "Sinner's Swing" is a hard-rock take on the big-band sound, with Mr. Roth successfully capturing the vibe of the swing era. "Unchained" contains Eddie's hyperactive riffs and majestic soloing, while "When Push Comes To Shove" features a funky bassline by Michael Anthony, and a slinky rap from Roth. "So This Is Love" contains a sing-along chorus and a fluid, blues-based solo. Capping off the album is a synthesizer solo that foreshadows the 1984 album.
If it's not broke, don't fix it--Van Halen relied for quite a while on the same infectious hard-rock formula that makes FAIR WARNING a winner. The album is questionably their finest moment and is a perfect place to start exploring one of hard rock's premier outfits.
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