Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Van Halen, "Mean Street"

Is Van Halen really a "good times" band? This song reminds me of Rage Against the Machine. That lascivious main riff and David Lee Roth's talked delivery could have appeared on Evil Empire, although the harmonized chorus and Eddie's tapped intro are pure VH.

Thematically, it's worlds away from the exuberance of "Jump," "Hot for Teacher," or "Panama." Yet even when they're inviting you to Mean Street, Van Halen still sound cheerful enough to make you dance the night away. It's the rare kind of chemistry that allows a pair of guys who can't get along at all to look like they're having all the fun in the world, and makes the Mean Streets sound like everybody wants some.

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