Marching To Mars

Sammy Hagar

Track Factory, 1997

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


Sammy Hagar joined Van Halen in 1985 as the replacement for frontman egomaniac David Lee Roth. When I saw Van Halen in Cedar Rapids on Halloween 1988, I was mesmerized by the charismatic singer. I dismissed the "Van Hagar" slams that my friends perpetuated and went with the flow, that a new Van Halen had been incarnated. Well, Hagar lasted 11 years before he caught "solo act" fever and left the band. In August of 1996, Hagar began writing the material on this CD and on May 20th, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Marching To Mars was released.

His first post-Van Halen solo album is an ambitious effort for a musician that spent the last eleven years crooning lyrics like, "Let's do it until we're black-n-blue" (from Van Halen's OU812), but not much of an encomium for his Van Halen work. Little of this material, either musical or lyrical, rivals the material Hagar helped create in Van Halen. Drop the last eleven years and compare this material to his last solo CD, 1987's I Never Said Goodbye (which came out when I was a senior in high school) and the equation gets a little more balanced. But let's not pretend this CD is not going to be compared to ALL of Hagar's past material. These songs teeter between predictable and the cliché. In the large picture, which encompasses Hagar's career, it's not his best material.

Lyrically, Hagar is less than inspired. Yes, his breakthrough hit "I Can't Drive 55" is not literature, but neither is "Little white lie's been around for years/ Little white lie's ringing in your ears/ You turn around/ come around back on you/ That little white lie's catching up to you." And this lie is . . .? This is material not even in the same universe as the roads he has traveled in the past. The thoughtfulness of "Right Now," the lewdness of "Black and Blue," the inspirational "Dreams" - - none of that is here.

Be all of that as it may, Hagar as a solo artist isn't that horrendous. Perhaps tolerable on a good day. "Would You Do it For Free" is a dirty groove. If you can ignore the poppy guitar licks, it's probably the second best track. After that, good luck finding something about which to get excited.

Rating: D

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1997 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Track Factory, and is used for informational purposes only.