Picks and Pans Review: Sammy Hagar

updated 08/17/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/17/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Sammy Hagar

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Sammy is a greedy man. He was plucked from a career as the leader of his own undistinguished rock band by an invitation to replace David Lee Roth in Van Halen. But then, instead of thanking his lucky stars and sticking close to his prosperous new associates, he has to venture out on his own again, reminding us in the process what a musical bumpkin he truly is. First came Winner Takes It All, the sound-track single from Sly Stallone's arm wrestling opus, Over the Top. Now comes an entire album of solo slop from Hagar the horrible. Despite its hard rock impetus, Sammy Hagaris like gruel for the ears, unremittingly thin, bland and unnourishing. The most that can be said for it is that there are some isolated good touches, such as Hagar's guitar solo on Hands and Knees or the karate chop riff from Back Into You (which, come to think of it, he borrowed from Summer Nights on Van Halen's last album). It's hard to believe that a record as loud and aggressive as this could be so boring, but nowhere does the writing, singing or playing pique the interest. On the contrary, Hagar has somehow created a self-erasing album, music that manages to evaporate from the brainpan even as you listen to it. (Geffen)

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