Sunday, December 19, 2010

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

VAN HALEN "Balance" (1995)

"Balance" reflected a balanced composition between Van Halen's darker edge and lighter side. This album depicted a lot of expressive statements in the lyrics and revived some old riffs and arrangements - most songs are embalmed with a heavy metal touch with a couple of ballads and interludes. Now onto evaluate the quality of the songs: I found that the latter half of the album is slightly inferior, downgrading the whole album from the perfect rating, but overall Van Halen did an amazing job, especially looking back at 1995, which was a tough year for the glam and hard rock scene.

"The Seventh Seal" and "Don't Tell Me" are examples of Van Halen playing in the darker territory. "Can't Stop Lovin' You" and "Not Enough" are radio hits that I found to be lovable and fresh to this date. "Amsterdam", which pictures the sex and drugs of the city, has groovy guitar and an infectious chorus. "Big Money" is a jazzy jam with a frantic rock and roll rhythm. The intro to "Aftershock" will remind you of Metallica, and this song later evolves into a superb hard rock track. The remaining songs are decent but with several unimportant instrumental fillers, "Balance" should only enjoy a maximum of 4 stars from me.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.