Picks and Pans Review: A Little Ain't Enough

updated 02/18/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/18/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

David Lee Roth

Give the guy credit. At this point Roth has got his high-octane, guitar-snarling, laughing-all-the-way-to-the-bank rock style down cold. But his mastery comes at a time when much of his young audience has moved off toward either graver heavy metal or the more incontinent punk-funk of the Red Hot Chili Peppers school.

That doesn't stop Diamond Dave from serving up a generous portion of his saucy specialty. What makes this one of his best records is that he's borrowing rather blatantly from his betters. There's the Van Halen-esque title track, the scorching Led Zeppelin riffs of "Baby's on Fire" and the Aerosmith-like "Shoot It" and "Last Call," a shameless clone of "Walk This Way."

Roth's best original moments come on the dark blues of "Tell the Truth" and the larky strut of "Sensible Shoes." The album also contains a good deal of filler (such as "40 Below" and "Hammerhead Shark"), but it's all crisply produced by Bob Rock.

Roth has always recruited good players, and his band now includes guitarists Jason Becker and Steve Hunter, keyboardist Brett Tuggle and brothers Gregg and Matt Bissonette on drums and bass.

Besides the fact that Roth's rock is slightly behind the times, however, he also has a credibility problem. The irony that he stresses in his videos is also apparent in his music; he seems to be both flaunting and sending up his codpiece machismo. And youth will not be mocked. They like their anthems of hot babes and disaffection served up with at least seriously simulated sincerity. (Warner Bros.)

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