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Eat 'Em and Smile

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(61 Reviews)

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  • With Eat ‘em and Smile, David Lee Roth’s first full-length solo album, Van Halen’s former front man proved he didn’t need Eddie and the guys behind him to rock the house. Of course, his new band members deserve a lot of credit for making this album sound as good as it does: guitarist extraordinaire Steve Vai, talented bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer Gregg Bissonette. There are more than a few echoes of vintage Van Halen in these ten tracks, but in the end this is really and truly David Lee Roth at his best. While the comic and campy aspects of the persona he built around his earlier EP release Crazy From the Heat also showed up here to party, David Lee Roth and his band basically came to the studio to rock hard and heavy and have fun doing it.Yankee Rose, featuring some killer riffs from guitarist Steve Vai, gets the album off to a driving, heart-pumping start. This track, which I consider the best of Roth’s career, is followed by Shyboy, another metal classic that some fans may be unfamiliar with. Roth takes the show down a notch or two with the catchy but pop-oriented track I’m Easy. Then there is Ladies’ Night in Buffalo?, a track which some critics have pronounced Roth’s most artistic song; I find it rather boring, myself. Roth perhaps feels the same, for he quickly shifts back into overdrive and pumps out three hard-driving rockers in Goin’ Crazy, Tobacco Road, and Elephant Gun. After reaching this mid-album crescendo, though, Roth coasts some of the way to the finish line. Big Trouble is relatively unimpressive except for its noteworthy bridge, and Bump and Grind is rather forgettable altogether. Roth really closes the album out in style, though, belting out his cover of That’s Life. The song may be a little over the top and it is certainly flamboyant, but the same can be said of David Lee Roth, and that is why That’s Life is the perfect way to close out Roth’s first major solo project. The album is too short, coming in at barely thirty one minutes in length, but there is a lot of good rock and roll crammed into these ten tracks.

    Posted on March 3, 2010