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David Lee Roth Diamond Dave

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Monday, January 19, 2004 @ 8:54 AM


(Magna Carta)

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Released last summer, Diamond Dave is David Lee Roth's summertime goodtime, party rock album. Chock full of covers and surprisingly diverse, Diamond Dave is a look back at the former Van Halen frontman's youth as seen through the tunes he stalked the Pasadena streets to.

"You Got The Blues Not Me" and "Mind Made Up" are vintage Savoy Brown chestnuts roasted up Diamond Dave style -- bluesy, smoky and full of 'tude. The Doors' "Soul Kitchen" gets a Vegas-y hard rock rave-up workout, while Hendrix's "If 6 Was 9" gets a dance floor, techno rock reworking. Amazingly, both work quite nicely. Slightly less successful is an update on the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" (here called "That Beatles Tune"). However, Dave's back on track with Steve Miller's funky "Shoo-Bop," Rodger Collins' bluesy "She's Looking Good" and the Hombres' swanky "Let It All Hang Out."

The best of the originals offered up here is the DLR Band-sounding "Thug Pop," a hard rockin' tune in the classic Dave vein, while a jazzy update on "Ice Cream Man" and the unearthed showtune-style "Bad Habits" are fun and frivolous. Dave is fine vocal shape throughout the proceedings and the various musicians (they are many) flex their muscles on every cut, showing Dave still has a knack for picking winners.

All in all, a light, breezy waltz through Diamond-ville, a backyard BBQ of sorts with the toastmaster of the immoral majority himself. This ain't gonna win him over many new fans, and might piss off some metalheads, but true Dave lovers will dig this boogie-woogie get-down.

* * * ½


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