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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 ›
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 ›
"The Seventh Seal", is heavy like "Poundcake", but unfortunetly not nearly as good. You want to like this song, but it just sounds too serious for VH. "Can't Stop Loving You", is a bonafide pop hit with good lyrics. As a ballad it's very upbeat, but not in the same league as "Love Walks In", "Dreams" (5150), or "When It's Love" (OU812).
"Don't Tell Me" is a decent rocker which preaches about the importance of freewill. Nice guitar solo. The song contains what seems an obvious mention of the 1994 shotgun suicide of Kurt Cobain: "Ain't gonna tell you what's right for you/I've seen the damage done/Down with the shotgun". Here Cobain is cast as a christ-like martyr. "I get down on my knees and pray/Now I'm saved by a higher voice/Givin' up my choice". As on, "Mine All Mine" (OU812), and, "Judgement Day" (Carnal Knowledge), Sammy thus reveals both his preoccupation with religion, and his ambivalence towards it.
Ed's chops are nice on "Amsterdam", but the song just sounds like an advertisement for how you "don't have to worry bout the man", when it comes to marijuana in Amsterdam. As such it's sort of an embarrassingly cheesy topic for a song.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Pretty standard for a Van Halen disc after a while i get sorta tired of listening to them as a band, Eddie is always good but the material is always the same and the Vocals are... Read morePublished 5 months ago by spigomars
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 on June 27 2014 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
Why all the criticism of this album? If you are a VH fan of the Sammy years, then this album should be right up your alley with the rest of them. Read morePublished on April 26 2004 by Brad
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