Hagar’s last record, Living It Up (2006), seemed to be a clear indication that he was running on creative bankruptcy. This latest release confirms it. At least Living It Up was somewhat unified. This album sounds like a bunch of unrelated outtakes and recycled old tunes thrown together just to get some product out the door, which is essentially what it is. With as many talented guests that appear on this album you would expect more of it, but the sum is not equal to the parts. To be fair, there are 2 very good songs on this record-”Psycho Vertigo” and “Loud.” In fact, they are 2 of the best rockers that he has recorded since leaving Van Halen. But 2 songs do not make a record, and the rest of the album is just so annoyingly stupid that any person of marginal intelligence will be hard pressed just to make it through a full listen. “24365″ , “I’m On A Roll” , and Hagar’s nauseating cover of “Fight For Your Right” could quite possibly be nominated for the worst songs ever pressed to CD. The title track and the closer, “Dreams/Cabo”, are just rehashes of Hagar’s Van Halen years in new arrangements, and the grunge-inspired “Peephole” sounds horribly dated for a song that was just released. It may be time for Hagar to lay off the tequila to search for some true inspiration, and take his music a little more seriously, if he is going to continue to release albums and ask his fans to pay for them.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
I’ve been a Sammy Hagar fan for many years now and i have to say that this latest attempt at creating music is just that.. “an attempt”. there’s nothing here that hints at reinvention whatsoever. Sam prides himself on his tequila and his livin’ it up lifestyle. the inclusion of that particular lifestyle in his music has not carried over very well on this disc or his previous one for alot of fans. The title song in and of itself..sucks. “Psycho Vertigo” is okay and “Peeping through a hole” would have been alright if i hadn’t already heard Jeff Scott Soto sing that with Soul Sirkus. The Soul Sirkus version blows this one to pieces. the rest of the disc is filler. It just doesn’t have the elements of a “rockin’” Sammy Hagar record. Sammy is capable of creating better more listenable hard rock music even at the ripe old of 60! I really hope that the music that he’s recorded with Satriani,Mike and Chad is far superior to this latest spud. I’ll be waiting to hear the music from that “project” whatever name they decide to give it when it finally comes out.
Interesting album if expectations are tempered. The title track (and video) reference “Right Now” but has more kinship with “Marching to Mars” ~ boppy, mod, ruminating, slick. Terrific radio tune! Next two tracks do grunge metal with social consciousness ~ nice Eddie imitation on the former. From there, Sammy takes care of his fan base: cars, girls, partying, boogieing. His vocal range is easy nowadays, the songs pleasantly formulaic. Kinda a ZZ Top groove, unassuming but earnest, well-oiled. Some modest forays into funk and 60’s keep the set moving along. The acoustic closer is shameless filler, though. Whatever, this dude’s been working his butt off since 1973, once the mightiest arena yeller in the biz ~ as far as I’m concerned, he’s got the right to coast. Nice to have ya back! And cool takin’ care of Mike!
I’m a lifelong Sammy fan, I own every album, but I was pretty disappointed this one. I originally wrote this as a one-star review and said I saw nothing redeeming about it, but a few tracks are gradually growing on me.
He has lost something on his voice (understandably at 60), and I don’t feel like he has adjusted the music well to fit. His last album, albeit a far departure from his norm, at least explored some new directions. This one, I feel, is just a collection of stuff to put on an album.
If you liked the more country / beach style of “Living It Up” you’ll like the tracks “When The Sun Don’t Shine” and the “Dreams/Cabo” cover on this one. Those are probably my favorites, because his rock voice just isn’t working for me right now – too gutteral and often flat. The acoustic VH cover would be nice, but 2 of the 4 minutes are intro dialog. That’s interesting the first listen only.
“Switch on the Light” is pretty fun with Billy Gibbons on it. That one in particular is really growing on me.
The “Fight for Your Right to Party” cover is just gratuitous – the roadie doing guest vocals? May make for a fun moment at a concert (once), but to immortalize it in print is inexplicable to me (not to mention a poor choice of a cover to begin with – the Wabos have a lot more musical talent to showcase than a 1 riff rap song).
“24365″ is an attempt at funk, but when you think of “Would You Do It For Free” with Bootsy Collins (on “Marching to Mars”) – that’s the standard and this doesn’t come close. This one does feature Bootsy, but it’s just forced. I can’t stop comparing it to “Would You Do It For Free” which I hold as one of Sammy’s best songs ever, both for the music, the message and the history behind it.
A lot of people here are talking about “Loud” and “I’m on a Roll” as the best rockers on here, but I didn’t care for either of them – the music was good but I thought the lyrics were awkward – cringe-worthy in some cases. (Note to musicians everywhere, PLEASE quit rhyming with “Steve McQueen” in songs!)
The two Planet Us songs (“Peephole” and “Psycho Vertigo”) are good but just out of place. I think that’s my biggest problem with this album – it’s an almost random collection of stuff that doesn’t flow. Put those Planet Us songs on a compilation sometime, or just via I-Tunes or whatever, but they are truly from a different era and just don’t fit well.
I hate to say this, because there was a long period where I ate up everything from Sammy, but the years of screaming have taken their toll. There’s not a lot of successful 60 year old screamers that have worked as steadily as Sammy through the years, and there’s a reason. I think he needs to consider where he needs to go vocally to keep making interesting music. It probably will be different and a big change for his fan base to adopt, but we’re all aging, too. I think his fan base needs to understand if he has to adapt his music to protect his voice better – we’ll get more years of music from him if he does.
If you like ALL Sammy, dating back to Montrose and his eclectic ’70s solo catalog, CUF may appeal to you. There are songs that rock (like his ’80s catalog), and some with a country-ish twang.
In the early years, Sammy had a borderline R&B influence (listen to Sam’s did a cover of “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” or “Keep on a Rockin’”). Although it’s nice to hear some variety, you’ve got to be in the mood to hear some of this. I think the same applies to the ‘twang’ or ‘Buffet’ influenced material he’s put out lately.
Let’s face it… If he doesn’t try to appeal to a new audience (and it would appear that country is the path of least resistance), it’s going to hurt our (Sammy fans) chances of enjoying future new albums or tours. I doubt any teens or college kids are rushing out to buy a 61 year-old rocker’s album, so Sam’s gotta expand the market with the 35+ crowd.
Give the album a couple listens before you ditch it. If you don’t feel it, you have nearly 35 years of other Sammy material to listen to.
This is certainly not a one star album, nor is it a five star. I would give it a 3.5 if I could, but that’s not an option on Amazon.
Keep On A-Rockin’!