|Sammy Hagar Cosmic Universal Fashion||Roadrunner|
I don't think I have to explain my longtime fanboy sentiment held towards Sammy Hagar. I hold him in high esteem and consider a few records featuring his vocals up there with my very best ever - (VH's 5150 and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge; solo albums I Never Said Goodbye, VOA and Standing Hampton).|
But in recent times Sammy has become a bit of a mystery artist – you never quite know what is coming next or what style it will be in. And in some ways Sammy continues to confuse his fan base with this release.
After devoting himself to being the hard rock Jimmy Buffett on Livin' It Up (itself a very fine record if you could handle the style), Sammy returns to hard rock here, but fails to convince with an album that appears almost thrown together.
Not 4 Sale was a loosely recorded set of tunes, but at least had focus. Livin' It Up was the same, but the style wasn't for all.
Sammy at one stage flagged recording a bunch of stand alone tunes, releasing them individually. That's what this album sounds like. And as an old school Hagar fan, it doesn't really work for me. Perhaps it would if all the songs were of stand-out quality, but this is a very mixed bag.
The opening tune – the title track Cosmic Universal Fashion – is horrible. Not a great way to start any album, but a Sammy album featuring a driving programmed beat and some semi-spoken rapping vocals with filtered effects and the like…good grief!
Next up is a change of tact again in the only two Planet Us tunes re-recorded (Sammy's near-project with Neal Schon).
Both Psycho Vertigo (original track Vertigo renamed) and Peephole are true to the original vibe of the Planet Us demos – serious, loose, raw, 70s based groove rockers with a dark and very uncommercial vibe.
Peephole was done better by Soul Sirkus, but the guitar playing here is still intense and Sammy's vocal is amazing.
Then there's another change of style with the straight forward hard rocker Loud, which turns back the clock to the Ten 13 'party rocker' Sammy.
Fight For Your Right To Party continues this party vibe. The Beastie Boys cover deserves to be rocked up and rolled out, but I think it works better as a live track than a studio album cut.
Switch On The Light is a pretty average tune again – a bluesy rocker with a crap chorus.
When The Sun Don't Shine is an acoustic ditty that was probably rejected from the Livin' it Up album for not being strong enough. The Hawaiian Islands vibe sounds even worse here. Horrible.
There is never time to get comfortable with any style while listening to this album and 24365 is no different. This is another harmless party rock tune with an amusing vocal, but really…why?
I'm On A Roll is much the same – a 2 minute Van Hagar novelty style filler that serves little purpose, but on its own is a little bit of fun.
The last track – again seemingly dumped on here to fill up space is a live medley of two classic Van Halen tunes - Dreams and Cabo Wabo. Both have been radically restructured into acoustic ballad/sing-alongs. Horrible way to close any album and even worse, the last 2 minutes of the track is nothing but some Sammy acapella and crowd singing. Messy.
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