Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Van Halen - OU812 (1988)












There's a lot of Van Halen going around; it's the end of summer and the last hurrahs with beer, barbecues and FM radio are everywhere. It's nice to hear the nastiness of "I'm The One" while at a stoplight or from your neighbor's backyard. Now, I'm not in a very good mood, and I love Van Halen (minus Hagar) without impunity, so I'm basically going to take the time to trash the most terrible album that Eddie has ever thought to commit a guitar track to -- OU812 -- the most un-Van Halen of all Van Halen records. This album is a waste of everything great about these guys. Listen to "The Full Bug" from Diver Down

and then to "Feels So Good" from this messy morass and you'll think you've got two different bands from two different eras.

The good? Well, "Finish What Ya Started," I must admit, is a pretty good song, but only because it's not annoying. Shame on Hagar for thinking we like such cantankerous caterwauling and especially, shame on Eddie and co. for thinking they needed Roth to be a successful band. Besides the insistent irritation offered by Hagar, the rest of the band seems lifeless as if they were ELP putting out Love Beach to fulfill contractual obligations. Speaking of ELP, I hate synths as filler or background or as some kind of supplemental accompaniment. But Keith Emerson rules. And Rick Wakeman rules -- because they transcended the potentially banal use of their instruments, like Max Roach did with percussion (rest in peace, man). This musical diarrhea doesn't deserve the keys it tries to embellish and should be promptly flushed into the cesspool with the other blasé buckets of musical filth produced from the 80s. Oh, and for the record, 5150 sucked, too, just not as much, but that's for later. This album merely built upon the exacting shittiness they were developing then. An F seems too nice.

1 comment:

master cianan said...

a gilded goblet running over with diarrhea. You should have trashed it more.