Van Halen – Van Halen III (1998)

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Music

In 1998, the highly anticipated Van Halen III finally arrived–and along with it came the big question –will the material hold up to the hype? Reassembled with ex-Extreme lead singer Gary Cherone, Van Halen bore the beastly burden of proof–can they possibly make a third incarnation work?

The change was relevant with newcomer Cherone, who lends a subtle, serene sense of security to this record. It comes off well, but his vocals are, at times, too similar to VH’s previous mouthpiece, Sammy Hagar. Some may not even notice Sammy’s absence. While most people questioned the choice of Cherone his vocals and lyrics were straight-forward and rather compelling, and seemsed to fit right in.

Cherone wrote most of the lyrics for this album and drives powerful meaning to the music. While Eddie’s spiritual awakening (sobriety) and emotional maturity (also sobriety) possibly resulted in his best work to date. The 43 year old guitar legend has lifted his fretwork into new dimensions with a stripped-down examination that constantly bends, pushes and pulls you to the edge. In addition to his phenomenal guitar stylings, Eddie took part in co-producing this record, and even sang some lead vocals, while accompanying himself on piano on the impressive ballad “How Many Say I.” This honest look at interdependency, was a valiant effort for Eddie–moving and lyrically inspiring.

While the single, “Without You” was the only real attention the media gave this record, in no way does it prepare you from what lies hidden within VH III. The energy constantly flows with remarkable tracks such as, “From Afar,” “Year To The Day,” and the epic “Once.”

This album, the last full-length recording from the band, marked the end to the Van Halen legacy – at least musically. Original lead singer David Lee Roth reunited with the band in 2007 for a brief, yet amazingly succesful tour, but the band has – despite rumors – failed to bring any new material to the table.

Was this the end of Van Halen forever? Probably – but it should be noted that this album holds pretty strong in the Van Halen, post-Roth catalog. Even if the critics ignored or hated it.

But that’s probably due to the fact that I’ve always had a huge boner for Gary Cherone’s music.

Tracklist:
1. Neworld
2. Without You
3. One I Want
4. From Afar
5. Dirty Water Dog
6. Once
7. Fire in the Hole
8. Josephina
9. Year to the Day
10. Primary
11. Ballot or the Bullet
12. How Many Say I

Wiki: Link | Download (320kbps): Link

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