by Tim Durling
Label: Loud & Proud/Roadrunner
Not going to go into a lot of detail about the credits because the above website pretty much says it all about writers and personnel and stuff. What does that leave? Oh yeah, the music. Being a huge Hagar fan from way back, My feelings on Sammy's post-VH output have been mixed. My worthless quick two cents on each album:
Marching to Mars: Quite possibly Sam's masterpiece...I got so into this one, so much anger, soul and emotion went into this album it was scary. One of very few good releases from '97.
Red Voodoo: A few great standout tracks, and some...well, filler I think.
Ten 13: See above, only a little more filler.
Not 4 Sale: Had a hard time finding this one, and came away thinking it wasn't worth the search. Always thought Sammy was coasting a bit with this one.
Livin' it Up: I really, really, tried to like this one. I'm glad Hagar's reached the point in his life where he can relax, he's earned it. But just too laid back for me. Not a bad record, just not my type.
1) Cosmic Universal Fashion - I saw the video for the title song and I'll admit, the...I don't want to say gimmick but yeah it is, reprising the concept (audio and video) for the "Right Now" video made it hard not to watch it. And I found I really enjoyed the song. Favorite part of the video hands down: right now Mike is STILL thinking about a solo project. The stupidity of the record companies never ceases to amaze me, Sammy posted a link on his credits to watch this video, now I see it's been removed.
2) Psycho Vertigo - One of two songs Neal Schon co-wrote and appeared on. A bit of a half time shuffle feel. Not bad.
3) Peephole - Anyone who's heard the Soul Sirkus album knows this song. Is this the Planet US version? I think so. Anyway it rocks.
4) Loud - Song co-written by John Eddie, anyone my age and older might remember his near-hit "Jungle Boy" from '86 (note: not to be confused with "Tarzan Boy") - interesting that Billy Duffy appears on this one because it reminds me of a Cult song. Any Cult song. D-C-G and D again. "Fire Woman," "She Sells Sanctuary," 'Rain," "Rise," etc... (That's not a slam on the Cult by the way.)
5) Fight For Your Right to Party - This Beastie Boys cover is well-done, a lot of fun, but I would have preferred that Hagar have included his other cool new song "Open" which is floating around in cyberspace somewhere and deserves a home on a CD. Also find this version a bit too slow.
6) Switch on the Light - Really the first time the album takes a breather, but this is cool. The Reverend Billy Gibbons appears on this one adding his distinctive low-drawl to the chorus. I'm guessing this one's about "lighting up" but I could be wrong on that. Don't think so though.
7) When the Sun Don't Shine - Somehow I knew this would happen. A little better sequencing should have been in order. This song sounds right out of the Livin' it Up sessions. A disappointment after the first half being so rocking and upbeat. Oh it's alright, but just zzzzzzzz......
8) 24365 - ...zzzzz.. huh, ok finally some signs of life...Sammy's trying out the funk again...more life to it than the last song, doesn't necessarily mean I like it...I see what's being attempted here but it's not working for me. Maybe it makes more sense live.
9) I'm on a Roll - All right, now this is more like it, a good old fashioned Sammy Hagar tune about fast times and fast cars...The open string guitar line reminds me ever so slightly of "This Planet's on Fire." I'm digging this one big time...
10) Dreams/Cabo - A live acoustic version of two of Sammy's VH classics, with a heartfelt intro by Sammy...sung in a much lower key to keep with the atmosphere, and the audience is right there with him...wow, if I had the dough to spare my first two shows I'd go to would be Y&T anywhere and Sammy at Cabo Wabo...Cabo Wabo is performed a capella, good stuff!! I still think it's interesting how this song was written when things were going well in the VH camp, yet paved the way for Hagar's post -VH career in more ways than one.
Basically if you're a Hagar fan, you will find enough to like about this album, if you're not, you probably haven't even read this far. But I will say this album has some of his best rockers in years, and is worth picking up.