User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 4 out of 32

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  1. Feb 7, 2012
    9
    Great return to form from a great band that hasn't been great in a while. Roth doesn't sound as powerful as he used to, but he sings with a maturity that he used to lack. The band sounds as heavy and loud as ever like they've got something to prove and frankly, they did. It's great that they remembered who they are. The only gripe I have is the choice to use Tattoo as the first single and first track, as it's easily the worst song on the album. Expand
  2. Feb 8, 2012
    10
    The mighty Van Halen is finally back with the most satisfying, detonating, roundhouse-kick-in-yo-face rock album since 1984!! As a first listener, skip "Tattoo" and go straight to "Honeybabysweetiedoll" to get a true taste of what this album really is about. Also go see them live, because that's where they truly shine!
  3. Feb 10, 2012
    10
    Everything a Van Halen fan could've hoped for. Eddie flexes throughout, showing it's never a good idea to write off The King. Dave is his Diamond Dave best, tongue in cheek lyrics and delivery intact. Alex slays the drums and Wolf is impressive on bass, despite cries for MA. There's been alot of backlash about hitting up their old demo's for this album, so what? What band DOESN'T do that? Like they get rid of unused riffs and whatnot...ridiculous. This album smokes, an outright beast. Expand
  4. Feb 13, 2012
    9
    As a long time fan, I really didn't think the day would come when a new Van Halen album would be released, much less one involving Diamond Dave. Well, that day came, and after hearing the so-so first single 'Tattoo', I was a bit nervous. Well that nervousness quickly changed to relief, because this is a real Van Halen album, and further a real vintage sounding Van Halen album. Gone are the love ballads, instead replaced by the in-your-face rock that made Van Halen one of the most important bands in the late 70's and early 80's. Now if you're a fan of the Sammy Hagar era you may not enjoy this, but I don't care. This is (almost) the original Van Halen - Ed's ripping guitar, Dave's charisma & attitude, Al's booming drums, and hell even if Mike is missing, Wolfie does his best to fill the void, and his playing is pretty impressive.

    Of course this vintage sound stems from the band dipping into the archive of unreleased tracks, a move which I whole heartedly support. It's amazing that those old tunes weren't released in the band's prime, but reworking them with mostly new lyrics makes the band sound ageless. A lot of the attitude from those demos rubbed off on the new stuff too; just listen to 'China Town' or 'As Is'.

    I think most importantly this album is a triumphant return of David Lee Roth. It's undeniable that when Dave left, he took the attitude with him. Van Halen become a very different band with Sammy Hagar, with a different mood to their songs, and for many fans it really wasn't the same. Dave is a unique cat, and the chemistry between him and Ed is the main reason why Van Halen rose to legendary status. All in all, a great return to form for the band. After everything they've has been through, this is much more than I could have expected, and I couldn't be happier.
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  5. Feb 21, 2012
    10
    In evaluating this album, I compared "A Different Kind Of Truth" to Van Halen's catalog, (which includes two other 10/10 albums in "Van Halen" of 1978, and "1984" of 1984,) and also to other successful, "comeback" albums, e.g. The Rolling Stones' "A Bigger Bang" of 2006 and AC/DC's "Black Ice" of 2008. Of successful comeback albums, this is the best I've heard since Steely Dan's remarkable return to form on "Two Against Nature," (2000). Like Steely Dan, Van Halen's signature sound is intact; however, now there's something new -- in Steely Dan's case, it was sonic; in Van Halen's case, it's Roth's grade-A lyrics. Who knew that David Lee Roth was this intelligent..? (Admit it -- until you read these lyrics, you didn't.) If these lyrics are any indication, he's one of rock's most intelligent singers -- he simply makes no artistic pretensions. Aside from Roth's greatly lyrics, "A Different Kind Of Truth" could've been, sonically, the bands 5th album if -- instead of going pop on "Diver Down," the band continued its descent into darkness following "Fair Warning." Like that album, I don't hear a single, but also like that album, every track is excellent. No filler. This is a potential album of the year candidate. Expand
  6. Mar 9, 2012
    10
    Sammy Hagar's (mostly inane, but always clichéd and unoriginal) lyrics may very well have coaxed the peak songwriting period out of Eddie Van Halen, just to compensate for the charisma-free zone front & center... David Lee Roth was never the better singer of the two, or even a very good singer at all... But, he always was, and always will be, the better frontman for Van Halen, both on record and stage. Gone, but hard to forget, are the singularly great 'Beach Boys' -style harmonies produced by original bassist Michael Anthony. Replacing him, we have Eddie's son Wolfgang, who handles the bass guitar department with admirable grace, power and finesse, and even his backing vocals are very competent if not exactly 'what VH used to sound like'.

    Roughly half the tunes are re-worked versions of songs originally demo'd in the mid-70's, and the new ones sound pleasantly like they could have been as well. This is not a bad thing. At all. We end up with 13 songs filled to the brim with passionate delivery from everyone involved. And a strong contender for most positive surprise of the year.
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  7. Jun 19, 2012
    10
    This might just be the best Van Halen album since their debut! That's right folks, even better than the mighty 1984! It tops anything the band has released for decades, and with Roth back in the fold that isn't so surprising. His vocals are a bit rusted but who's arent after 20 plus years. For his age and how long he's been singing he sounds fantastic! This certainly is a CD for the ages. I reviewed this in a video and gave it a 9.8, but no decimals here so rounding up to a perfect 10. The onlly thing this album lacks is strong lyrics, but those were never really Van Halen's strong spot. Expand
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Mar 22, 2012
    40
    A disappointment. [Apr 2012, p.88]
  2. Mar 19, 2012
    60
    Even though it's good to see Van Halen up and around, A Different Kind Of Truth is not the resurrection that we all dared to dream of. [Apr 2012, p.102]
  3. Mar 13, 2012
    70
    Once you're past the confusion of any preconceptions, it's a solid rock album.