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SAMMY HAGAR / RED VOODOO
LABEL: MCA RECORDS TRKD-11872
OVERALL: 91%
Produced by: Sammy Hagar & Jesse Harms
  1. Mas Tequila
  2. Shag
  3. Sympathy For The Human
  4. Red Voodoo
  5. Lay Your Hand On Me
  6. High And Dry Again
  7. The Revival
  8. Don't Fight It (Feel It)
  9. The Love
  10. Right On Right
  11. Returning Of The Wish
Sammy's back! And this time he is rocking!
Yes, post Van Halen Sammy is in quite an inspiration spell as he churns out almost a dozen new tunes only 18 months since Marching To Mars.
MTM was obviously the opening of a new chapter for Sammy and was mostly an album of reflection and a little of anger at the events that preceded it's recording.
The album was certainly as diverse as it was musically matured and challenging.
But on a few tracks I think Sammy failed to hit the mark. Certainly some Van Hagar fans were left wondering where the big anthems were, although response overall to the album was positive.
So with post VH album number 2 and on the back of a very successful tour with his permanent band the Waboritas, Sammy has presented an album of much happier tunes and is definitely in party mode.
This album is stronger, rawer and heavier than Marching To Mars and I think more enjoyable. Mas Tequila is a silly sort of song, using Gary Glitter's Rock N Roll riff to carve out a party anthem in honor of Sammy's new brand of tequila. It's a good fun track, but not one to take seriously.
Nor is track two - Shag! Yep, you guessed the subject matter. The tune is another tongue in cheek party rocker and is as raw & live as they come. If you don't get the joke, keep listening!
Sympathy For The Human is the first serious track of the album and marks the change in feel. Sammy sings of religion and redemption in a solid hard rocker that will go down very well live.
Red Voodoo is a cool fast paced acoustic driven rocker with heaps of organ and the feel of an old fashioned rock n roll song. Good fun.
Lay Your Hand On Me is the first ballad of the album. It starts as an acoustic ballad with only Sammy's vocals and builds to a big rock track before dropping back to a soft acoustic finish. Great vocal from Sammy and once again a raw and live feel to it.
High And Dry Again was previewed on Sammy's mini Australian tour last year. Organs and guitars drive this mid paced tune until it hits the chorus where it goes into rock over drive. Great anthem rocker. The fell of it and the guitar sound reminds me of the VOA album.
The Revival is a hard rocker with a modern feel. No real big chorus, but some cool backing vocals and a different sounds from Sammy.
Don't Fight It (Feel It) is a big blues rock track. Plenty of that southern blues boogie and that honky tonk Piano. Adding to the feel is an appearance by the Tower Of Power horns and guitarist Roy Rogers.
The Love is classic Sammy Hagar. A big guitar hook leads the track in and from that point you know it's going to be a classic. Big vocals, melodies and an upbeat chorus make this one of my favourite tunes on the album. It is also very commercial, making it a good choice for a single there somewhere.
Right On Right has a mock live intro that gives way to a hard rock track with some of the best and heaviest guitar riff's I have heard from Sammy for ages.
The track softens briefly for part of the verse, but rocks hard after that. Good live track.
Returning Of The Wish has a moody and mystical intro until acoustic guitars and Sammy's vocals take over. A wondeful heartfelt ballad that rocks in places, but stays loyal to the songs meaning. Another possible single and great way to finish the album.
Red Voodoo is a great album with a more consistent feel to it than Marching To Mars and a more solid rock approach.
Sammy's vocals are in fine form, there is a healthy does of keyboard and especially organ throughout from Jesse Harms, Victor Johnson's guitar playing is fabulous - although it is hard sometimes to tell if it is him or Sammy delivering the goods and the rhythm section of David Lauser and Mona (scary bird - awesome bass player!!) are as tight as could be expected.
Most of the tunes were written quickly and parts of the original home demo's are kept in all the songs. It gives the album a neat vibe and an earthy, raw and live feel that suits Sammy down to the ground.
If you like Marching To Mars, you will love this. If you are a general Sammy or Van Halen fan then this will be much loved.
Once again, Sammy proves he is the master songwriter, leaving Eddie Van Halen to ponder how he can get Sammy back. Aside from maybe some not digging the first two tracks, there is no fault to pick here. Get it!
PRODUCTION: 88%SONGS: 90%VIBE: 93%ATTITUDE: 92%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All Sammy Hagar fans and many Van Halen and good hard rock fans.


16/11/04: propane - kprinty@socalrr.com
Rating: 80
Uncle Sam needs to re-hire Bill Church, leave Van Halen! (sorry ass band, anyway). What the world really needs is foe UNcle Sam to start getting serious again.

04/09/04: bob g - bob@gerszewski.net
Rating: 88
solid and fun. great up tempo party music. makes me want to go to CABO WABO!

31/01/04: Kurt L - SealofLight@hotmail.com
Rating: 4
A very good Hagar album. "Lay Your Hand On Me" is one of his best songs, along with "High And Dry Again" and "Returning Of The Wish." Hagar can struly stand on his own.

26/03/00: Chuck Eaton - Chuck_26@mailcity.com
Rating: 95
Sammy 2...Van Halen 0. This is great material, from the writing and production straight down to the vocals and drumming. "Mas Tequila" is so cool and just a perfect one to crank up and drive the neighbors to go on vacation early. "High And Dry Again" and "Right On Right" are awesome and true head bangers. Sammy rules, so Eddie, Michael, Anthony...you may want to think about getting on your knees and...get him back ANY WAY YOU CAN!

19/09/99: Derek - dic7@nightmail.com
Rating: 100
Sammy
is the BEST!!!! NUFF SAID!!!!!!
Van Halen should be begging him to come back!

04/07/99: tripper :-) - tripperbce@aol.com
Rating: 99
I've seen Sammy & the Waboritas twice so far on the Red Voodoo tour, and they rock!!! Sammy says "This isn't a concert, it's a party!" So true Sammy! They deliver the music as well live as on the CDs. Sammy's voice is just as remarkable live as in the studio.
Since this is supposed to be a review of RV, as you can tell, I love it! My personal favorites are "High and Dry Again" and "Sympathy for the Human".
I'm a little upset about the reviews saying that Sammy stole some riffs for "The Love" from Tommy Shaw....that's strange- "The Love" was co-written with Neal Schon back in the HSAS days. That'd be back in 1984... So who copied who? There's an mp3 on Sammy's official website www.redrocker.com of Sammy singing and playing "The Love" accoustically.

All and all I love this CD and the Redrocker!
t

11/06/99: Pat Beals - pbeals@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
I have seen Sammy in concert two times already this year and will see him again in July. Mas Tequila is a party tune to the max. It is supposed to be fun and so what if it steals a bit from Gary Glitter and Norman Greenbaum (Spirit in The Sky)?
I agree with previous posters about the stolen riff from Tommy Shaw...some of the "unoriginality" bothered me a bit at first listens...but at this point who can really do anything totally original in this genre of music except with lyrics...? Sammy is having fun with his new band...their live show features newer tunes from RV and MTM, but he also dips back into the archives for some VH and Montrose stuff. The live show is great and I think Sammy would be the first to tell you that rock and roll is supposed to be "party" music. He has mastered this with RV and on his current tour. Go see him and the Waboritas when they come your way!

21/05/99: Peter M. Bietenholz - pbietenholz@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Ok, I have to admit it. I'm a huge Hagar fan - have always been, will always be. But frankly, after the disappointing (for the most part) "Marching To Mars," I was not sure what to expect. Rest easy, because "Mas Tequilla" just flat out rocks! This has got to be one of the best party records in ages. Lots of fun, tons of energy and songs that Eddie would kill for. Definitely his best solo work since "Three Lock Box." Also, watch out for Vic Johnson everybody, because he is going to be a guitar force to be reckoned withLo

29/04/99: Brian McGowan - brianmcgowan@hroxx.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 90
Isn't it hugely ironic that the spirit of eighties Van Halen lives on in Sammy Hagar's solo work, while the band which bears the name has died.

28/04/99: Laurent - laurent_biehly@swissre.com
Rating: 90
Once again, Hagar proves he doesn't need anybody to be a true master. I already loved MTM because it was very different from the typical Hagar sound and I love RV because it is typically what Hagar is all about : tongue in cheek lyrics, great entertaining rock'n roll and a voice from Heaven. Thanks Mr Hagar for this superb album

28/04/99: Scott Myers - REDROCKER65@webtv.net
Rating: 90
Sammy did an excellent job on Red Voodoo.The more I listen to the cd,,The more I like it-Can't wait til June 6,1999 when I will see him and the waboritas.I have yet to see the waborita's, live--but I'm sure they are a cool group-If anyone is interested in seeing them in Cabo Wabo--I have a few videos that I will sell or trade.If interested,feel free to e-mail me and I will send you my list---MAS TEQUILA!!!

22/04/99: Marc Bryant - strangeworld99@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
First of all, I can't remember anytime in my life where Sammy Hagar has ever put out anything I don't like. The "Marching To Mars" album was (and still is) one of my favorite CD and on my first listen of "Red Voodo", I thought it fell short of that material. But I've got to tell you these songs really grow on you. Most of the second half of the album (Lay Your Hands On Me, High And Dry Again, The Revival, The Love, Right On Right, Returning The Wish) struck me as great from the get go. It seemed like the
first half was really juvenile and immature. Then once I got my head out of my ass and remembered that rock'n'roll is supposed to be FUN, I found it to be a really enjoyable listen all the way through. That's more than I can say for Van Halen 3. The Red Rocker sll

15/04/99: chad ledoux - c5150webtv.net
Rating: 95
sammy has done it again! from the drum beat of mas teqilla to ending solo of returning of the wish, sammy has delivered the best album/cd so far this year. with songs like the two mentioned above and sympathy for the human, high and dry again, the love and most notably red voodoo, sammy proves he doesn't need van halen, but from the sounds of their last cd they despeparately need him. rock on mr. hagar

13/04/99: Doug - bearsandbengals@sprintmail.com
Rating: 90
I like most of Red Voodoo. I like this album much more than MTM, as it has a "Remember rock is supposed to be fun" attitude. Still, Red Voodoo is not quite as good in my opinion as Standing Hampton (my favorite).

One thing I did not is that there is a 70s undertone (e.g. guitar riffs and sound, basslines, etc.) to many of the songs, harkening back to Sammy's days in the band Montrose. (For those of you unaware, Sammy's first lead singer roll was for the Montrose self-titled album. Check out the song "Rock Candy", an AOR classic.) Not sure if this is driven by Sammy or Victor Johnson, but it seems to work out all right in 1999.

Ed, the ball is now in your court.

10/04/99: Rainbowe - rainbowe@my-dejanews.com
Rating: 95
The album is fun without being immature. (Tried to say that in my previously posted review, and the last word got cut off.)

09/04/99: Rainbowe - rainbowe@my-dejanews.com
Rating: 85
Great album! So far, I don't think I like any of the songs as well as I like "Who Has The Right", the song that made me buy Marching To Mars. But, still, they are all good songs, and moreover, the album as a whole is better than Marching To Mars. More unified. Marching To Mars felt like a collection of songs. This one feels like an album. Now, it is a bit odd to hear what sounds to my ears just like the beginning of Tommy Shaw's "Straight Down The Line" (on 7Deadly Zens) on a Sammy Hagar album ("The Love", which also to me sounds like that song -- the guitar -- in a couple other spots), but hey, so what. It's a good song and a good album. I do like "Mas Tequila" better on the album than I liked it hearing it on the radio before getting the album. "Sympathy For The Human" is an interesting song. Basically, I'd say the album is fun without being juni

03/04/99: Eric - em@c3net.net
Rating: 9
Sammy has never disappointed me with any release! I love Red Voodoo, Sympathy for the Human, and Returning of the Wish is a very powerful and spiritual track. Once again Sammy comes out on top. Eddie and the boys don't know what they are missing! I'm really impressed how Sammy continues to hit those high notes. His music always provides me with new memories that last a lifetime! Cya on the Red Voodoo tour Sammy! God Bless!

03/04/99: Andy Casale - ajcasale@pacbell.net
Rating: 75
Sammy is the rip-off artist of the year! "Mas Tequila" reminds me alot of "Doctoring The Tardus".
There are also alot of guitar parts stolen directly from Tommy Shaws "Now and Zen" CD. Once
you can get through those obstacles, it's a pretty good CD. The lack of originallity bothers me.
I guess I expected better from Sammy.

02/04/99: Boz - mtttboz
Rating: 95
Sammy once again delivers the goods.RED VOODOO has that fun,party feel to it, just like Sammy in concert.THE LOVE ,MAS TEQULIA,HIGH AND DRY AGAIN,RED VOODOO are classics.HeyEddie, dont call Sammy he sounds like he is to happy "without you".

01/04/99: Dean Smith - Hrothagar@ctlnet.com
Rating: 88
While not as solid as Marching To Mars, this album has what so many other albums lack, and that is being consistent.
From start to finish, Red Voodoo is not only a good listen, but is also remarkably enjoyable. Scratch up another one
in the "Win" column for the Red Rocker.

01/04/99: Dave Williams - dwilly5150@aol.com
Rating: 95
Best Sammy CD Yet! I thought MTM was over all a little depressing. This one is much more upbeat and fun to listen to. "The Love" has huge hit potential.Songs like "High and Dry," "Red Voodoo" and "Right on Right" gave me chills. Who needs Eddie!

31/03/99: Rob G. - RNG52465@aol.com
Rating: 70
Very disapointing! I loved MTM but this falls short!

30/03/99: Ray - personacom@aol.com
Rating: 90
I actually like MTM a bit better than this album, but Red Voodoo is a great album! Full of cool party tunes...Sammy always makes music fun...that is what it is supposed to be!
The raw feel on the tracks gives it live vibe. Great Stuff!

30/03/99: Joh Kelly - jkmets@aol.com
Rating: 88
This is a great party album from Sammy. It is not as personal as MTM, but it rocks none the less. It has not left my disc player since it came out last week.


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