Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth

The legendary troupe’s lukewarm new effort is only rescued by the band’s reputation…

Indifference is the worst possible response to  music. Sadly, it seems like a response befitting of Van Halen’s long overdue release. A Different Kind Of Truth feels more like a series of points proven and boxes ticked than it does a sensible album.

Yes, they’re still knocking around. And yes, despite the perils of time, Eddie Van Halen can still finger-tap a killer solo. But my noteworthy observations end with this paragraph.

For whatever reason, be it a Glee-enforced inoculation to anything even resembling VH or just a disregard for the hype surrounding A Different Kind Of Truth, my focus for this piece is simply on indifference, rather than the album.

Could it even be the case that Van Halen are cursed by “Jump”? Has the memory of that one song perverted the rest of history, to the extent that we were laying in wait for a distinctly commercial effort? If you’ve heard the album, you’ll know this is far from the case.

Maybe the problem is that it’s equatorial – halfway between good and bad. It’s so average that it’s slipped into a void of apathy, from which it seems likely to re-emerge.

Normally, I’d use this as a reason not to write about an album. I’ve done it plenty of times already this year.  I don’t feel like there’s any point starting a conversation about pointless music.

In the case of Van Halen, though, their reputation is plucking words from me like feathers. I find myself battered and bruised, defeated at the hands of PR. After all, isn’t all press good press?


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