Sammy Hagar, Cosmic Universal Fashion

Sammy Hagar, Cosmic Universal Fashion

Well, you have to hand it to the Red Rocker: he refuses to let Father Time slow him down. He recently headlined the festival circuit, then got together with former Van Halen bandmate Michael Anthony, guitar whiz Joe Satriani, and Red Hot drummer Chad Smith and released the excellent Chickenfoot CD. While many contemporaries at his age would be gasping after such a heavy workload, Sammy Hagar decides it’s time to release a new solo album.

Cosmic Universal Fashion is a bewildering piece of work that is one part admirable, one part lazy, and one part smells-of-contract-fulfillment. The album kicks off in a very different direction that will shock diehard fans; several years ago, on VH-1’s 100 Greatest Hard Rock Bands, Hagar expressed his love and admiration of Tool and talked about how they were influencing what he was doing. Back then, that statement was laughable, but the first three tracks here reflect that sentiment.

Almost.

Each of these songs reflect a much darker feeling and sound, and you have to admire the attempt even though you’re thinking that Sammy must be singing for his son’s band. Musically, they’re fine; where they hit a snag is lyrically, as Sammy is just not adept at writing these types of songs. “Peephole” is a tremendous song on both fronts, but gets bogged down by some clunky wording and phrasing. It deals with kidnapping and child sex abuse and could be compared to Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun” in how it combined a great song with a not very pop-friendly subject.

Unfortunately, it all goes haywire after that. Up comes “Loud,” a below-average party song that sounds like it was written the night before the recording session. It’s tepidness is soon tested by the equally bland “24365” and “Switch on the Light” — maybe they all sound better after sampling some of his Cabo Wabo Tequilla? You’ll need shots of said alcohol yourself when you hear his version of “Fight For Your Right to Party.” Let’s put it this way: as bad as it sounds in you head right now, multiply that by 10, and you may be close. The album mercifully ends with a live acoustic version of “Dreams,” a hit from his days in Van Halen.

After listening, you can’t help but think that either Hagar should have saved the first couple of songs in the vault until he had an album’s worth or just put them out as an EP. By mixing these two drastically different styles together, it ruins the impact of the first half, which serves as a downer for the second part.

(Loud & Proud Records -- http://loudandproudrecords.com/; Roadrunner Records -- 902 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York, NY. 10010; http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/; Sammy Hagar -- http://www.redrocker.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Sunday, October 10th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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One Response to “Sammy Hagar, Cosmic Universal Fashion

  1. tom on October 25th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Joe Satriani is my personal hero, I so wish I could play acoustic guitar just like him. I have never even watched him perform live, but it’s on my new years resolution checklist for next year :-)

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