Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A different kind of truth

So, this song, "Tattoo", is the lead single from the new Van Halen album, now revealed to be called A Different Kind Of Truth.

It seems to have been something of a misstep, considering the reception. A lot of people seem to not like it at all.

I like it. It's got kind of a nice groove and such. It's not overly catchy and doesn't have the kind of punch a person expects in a single, especially from a band like this, especially not one that's been dreamed of by fans for the last 25 years... Ok, in fairness, it's only been 15 years since the last single with Diamond Dave, which was Me Wise Magic, for those who have forgotten.

For me, whatever else I grow to think of it, it'll always be the first song Conan very clearly tried to sing along with, with sounds and modulation that were audibly intended to mimic the sound of the song itself. That's pretty dang cool!

On the other hand, it's also not the new song performed at their recent small performance at Cafe Wha? either, which I think shows something of a lesser confidence in their new new single. I strongly suspect there was some thinking that "Tattoo" would be a good choice, as it has some surface connection to more recent pop culture. I don't think that connection is particularly beneficial, though.

For the record, Review Collection: Van Halen Live at Cafe Wha? has a long list of genuinely effusive - and, for me as a fan, exciting - reviews of that show.

At that show, they played She's the Woman, which, in an earlier form, has bounced around as having been part of their 1976 Gene Simmons Demo.

Despite the poor sound quality in the video below, it's clear how it captures what most fans have been waiting for in a Van Halen single.

Regardless of any of that, I'm genuinely excited about the album as a whole.

Even though I do think it's a weak lead-off single, I like "Tattoo" and it's growing on me even more as I listen, although I know other people's mileage seem to vary. It seems a lot like "Me Wise Magic", in that both were perceived as underwhelming singles for a "comeback", but both get a little under my skin and I like more and more as time goes by.

I'm certainly hopeful I'll enjoy the album, since I think that's the real point this time out. I'm especially hopeful, since this looks like it will be my Van Halen treat for the year.

Times are tight enough with all that's going on, or at least tight enough. I just can't see being able to justify going to that expensive a show, especially since all of Texas shows are outside Austin means making a good-sized trip. So this'll be the third time, after 1984 and 2007, that seeing Van Halen will simply be an impossibility for me.

Honestly, though, being way past 13, the idea that they're on their feet and putting on kick ass rock 'n' roll shows makes me almost excited as the idea I'll see it for myself.

Good luck, guys!

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