It all started so promisingly.
The reunited Van Halen managed a near-perfect rollout for its tour last week with its masterful showcase at the tiny Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village. Now comes the rollout for the album “A Different Kind of Truth,” the first Van Halen featuring David Lee Roth on vocals since “1984,” and, well, it's not quite there.
The single and video for “Tattoo” arrived on the Internet today and it's pretty easy to see what they were going for. The simple, black-and-white video puts the band on an empty stage, like the one that made them seem larger than life in “Jump.” It opens nicely with a solid, grinding guitar riff from Eddie Van Halen, but then the lyrics start.
“I got Elvis on my elbow,” Roth offers.
“I've got hula girls on the back of my leg and she hulas when I walk,” he adds.
And it only gets worse, with a lackluster chorus that rhymes “sexy dragon magic” with “so very autobiographic.”
It's weird how “Tattoo” was picked as the first single, considering how “She's the Woman,” which they unveiled at their showcase, is a much better song.
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The video only reinforces the clunkiness of it all, with the guys basically just standing around until the confetti and balloons fall. Eddie's guitar solo is pretty good, but then it's back to “sexy dragon magic” again. Ow. Might as well jump.