Label: Roadrunner Records
Released: November 18, 2008
There are artists who push the boundaries, who set new standards, who break rules. Sammy Hagar isn’t one of them. Anyone acquainted with his career knows this and anyone expecting him to do any of these things is surely setting himself up for disappointment. Sammy Hagar has a formula and he sticks to it with only superficial changes over the years. That being said though, Hagar is one of the best hard rock voices out there and he simply exudes fun. Actually, in a sense, he’s one of rock’s most honest artists. No pretenses, he is what he is, so to speak.
Cosmic Universal Fashion‘s title track, a collaboration between Hagar and an Iraqi band, isn’t the best start, as it stumbles around in funk-laden hard rock, but the ship soon rights itself with the kind of generic rock songs that have been the staple of both Hagar’s solo career and his days in Van Halen. Lyrically, Sammy Hagar, even at his well-meaning best, is just plain stupid. Frankly, a guy his age should be able to come up with something better than keggers to write about. Of course, if you’re listening to Hagar’s music for enlightenment, you’re probably dumber than he is. A cover of the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)” cashes in on neither the original’s novelty appeal nor its unabashed fun, but it is the album’s only complete miscue. Everything else plays out just as expected, for better or worse.
Sammy Hagar’s same old, same old won’t win over any new fans, nor will it change the face of rock n roll. However, Hagar is among the best at what he does and he isn’t hesitant about the album he wants to make and people have come to expect. It’s true that there are probably few artists less creative than Sammy Hagar, but at least he wears that on his sleeve and puts a lot of energy into delivering his dummied-down (and somewhat fun) rock n roll.
If you’re curious about my rating categories, read the description.