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Sammy Hagar: Cosmic Universal Fashion

Sammy Hagar: Cosmic Universal Fashion

Melodic Hard Rock
Rating: 3.75/5.0

I hope when I'm four years away from retirement age I still have the energy as Sammy Hagar. His career spans forty plus years, but Mr. Hagar is probably most remembered for two things: the highway anthem, 'I Can't Drive 55' in his early solo career and replacing the infamous first lead singer of Van Halen in 1985. As careers go, that gig was effortlessly short. Hagar returned to solo work with albums in 1987 and 1997. However, most of his recent work has been with his own creation the 'The Waboritas/Wabos.' Now, in 2008, Hagar delivers his first solo project in 11 years with 'Cosmic Universal Fashion.'

'Cosmic' finds Hagar being, well, the Sammy Hagar we know and love: brash, bold, loud and always ready for a party. In this mission he's helped by some industry heavyweights and longtime friends. He's joined by Neal Schon, Michael Anthony and Dean Castronovo on 'Peephole' and 'Pyscho Vertigo,' both were destined for a collaboration called Planet Us. Though performed live several times, the project never got off the ground as Hagar joined a reformed (and ill-fated) Van Hagar tour. 'Pyscho Vertigo' is an average melodic rocker with boring and muted guitar solo. 'Peephole' delivers more with a modern rock feel and heavier riffs. Additionally, Matt Sorum and Billy Duffy are found on 'Loud' and Billy Gibbons plays guitar on 'Switch On The Light.' The former sounds most like the Red Rocker we remember; the latter is a funky groove rock number which burns to the ground any of Glenn Hughes latest stuff.

Most of the music on CUF is not really new. Besides 'Pyscho Vertigo' and 'Peephole,' 'When The Sun Don't Shine' is a Wabo standard, as is the Beastie Boys 'Fight For Your Right' in their live sets. Hagar also admits that 'Shine The Light is five or six years old. The closest thing to true originals are title track (not written by Hagar) and 'I'm On A Roll' (written for NASCAR). If you dismiss the Wabo and Beastie Boy numbers, the incredibly dull 'Pyscho Vertigo,' and the gratuitous live filler at the end, you have a relatively short album of six songs. Even so this is lively rocking album that displays Hagar's best talents and indomitable spirit as a great American rocker.

In Short

Most of the music on CUF is not really new. If you dismiss the Wabo and Beastie Boy numbers, the incredibly dull 'Pyscho Vertigo,' and the gratuitous live filler at the end, you have a relatively short album of six songs. Even so this is lively rocking album that displays Hagar's best talents and indomitable spirit as a great American rocker.

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