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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. The Seventh Seal|
|2. Can't Stop Lovin' You|
|3. Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)|
|5. Big Fat Money|
|6. Strung Out|
|7. Not Enough|
|9. Doin' TIme|
|11. Take Me Back (Deja Vu)|
Import pressing of their 1995 album. Out of print in the US. Warner.
No numeric or anagrammatic puns in the title of album #11, a sure sign that a new chapter is opening for these monsters of '80s rock. The band's formula has been polished to a blinding gleam here by producer Bruce Fairbairn, and there's a formidable mix of radio cuts (the first single "Don't Tell Me," "Can't Stop Lovin' You"), boneheaded rawk numbers ("Amsterdam," "Big Fat Money") and towering, cinematic epics ("The Seventh Seal," "Feelin'"). --Jeff Bateman
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Top Customer Reviews
Produced by the late Bruce Fairbairn, Balance borders on overproduced. The sounds are rich, thick and polished, but miles away from the raw guitar pummelling of the early days or even the previous For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album. Eddie, in a Guitar World interview, said the album was characterized by "better song writing", but what he really meant was "more commercial".
The album starts with a bang, a very different bang: Gregorian chants merge into a heavy guitar riff accented by a wall of droning fills. This is "The Seventh Seal", and Sammy's voice is in top form. Michael Anthony's bass rolls and hits key catchy notes at just the right moments. This is truly a great song, and completely different from Van Halen of old.
The next tune (and second single), however, "Can't Stop Loving You", is am embarassing foray into pop. While Van Halen wrote pop before ("Love Walks In"), this song lack cojones of any kind. The guitar is really thin, Alex Van Halen cha-cha's his way through the drum fills, and Sammy sings a lyric that David Lee Roth would have used as toilet paper.
Like day and night, the next song "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)" is anything but a love song.Read more ›
In this day and age, I give classic bands high marks that are able to keep their original sound while blending in the best of some contemporary elements--as opposed to totally selling out their sound or remaining exactly the same as they were 20 years ago. While grunge was still plaguing the rock music scene when this album came out, the VH guys moved forward with an album that was both true to their sound and yet contained just the slightest hints of modern rock. Take the guitar riffs on the first single "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)". Clearly this song rocks, but it has that slightly modern rock tinge to it. Don't let that mislead you if you haven't heard the track--it sounds good. "Can't Stop Lovin' You" was the second single and a great power ballad. I prefer this song to "When It's Love" off of OU812, although the latter was a much bigger hit. While some will say this track has a "been there, done that" feel to it, to me it is an improvement on that type of track.
Onto other songs, many of which made it on to rock radio as a needed breath of fresh air in 1995...."The Seventh Seal" is an epic rocker with searing vocals and a catchy guitar riff to lead off the album. "Aftershock" is a nice rocker later on the album. "Not Enough" is one of the softest track VH has ever done, but it is heartfelt and nice with a strong keyboard backing that sounds more like piano than synthesizer.Read more ›
Ironically, the two songs that qualify as dumbed-down arena rock, "Big Fat Money" and "Amsterdam" are actually the weakest on the album. Musically, "Amsterdam" is an excellent (if predictable) VH song, but the lyrics - "Wam bam, oh Amsterdam, stones you like nothing else can" - pure poetry there, Hagar. And "Big Fat Money" is just plain lame on all levels. Van Halen proved they could do quasi-speed metal with "Get Up" from "5150", but this is just a sloppy mess. In press interviews for promoting this album Hagar described "Big Fat Money" as "this album's 'Panama' or 'Why Can't This Be Love'," but let me tell you, he was just plain WRONG.
"Can't Stop Loving You", as the title suggests, is equally trite but this one works well. It's unashamedly pop, with a chime-sounding guitar tone similar to Def Leppard's later work.
Keyboards are intentionally low key here, with only the organic ballad "Not Enough" getting a bit of piano treatment. "Not Enough" is hardly the best ballad VH has ever done, but it's at least a nice change from the synth-heavy stuff they had been churning out since the "1984" days. "Take Me Back" is another stripped-down ballad that works well.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
my favorite van halen album with Sammy hagar. i listen to this all the time, it's getting to the point my kids can sing the lyrics.Published 19 months ago by Roger Nadeau
Can't Stop Lovin' You is the best song from the album because it is classic Van Halen. One of the best love songs on the album.
Not Enough is another personal favorite. Read more
This is an example of REAL musicians writing excellent pop songs. Songs like "Take Me Back(Deja Vu)", "Amsterdam", "Can't Stop Loving You", "Not... Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by Harrison Marcano
on this album. I think the frustration and fighting was starting to take its toll and it shows. The album is good but doesn't really take an identity.Published on Oct. 6 2003 by Robert Kado
While it contains its fair share of great songs in the Van Halen vein, the last album featuring Sammy Hagar isn't a classic affair. Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2003 by Kurt Lennon
After hearing For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge i was convenced van halen couldn't get any better! .....and as it turned out i was right. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2003 by Alex
This truly is one of thee best in Van Halen's history.
It obviously shows that the bands songwriting,music and
beautiful ballads have really matured into a melodic hard... Read more
This album is quite possibly Hagar's best since 5150, there are many rockers such as the title track and the silly but brilliant Amsterdam. Read morePublished on June 13 2003 by Dennis