December 1, 2022


SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE – Crazy Times (Album Review, 2022)

Rocking, but could use some extra melodies come chorus time.

Sammy Hagar is always going to be one of my favourites. I just love his approach, his attitude and for the most part, his songs. His 80s output was untouchable and even his post Van Halen 90s material was pretty consistent for a period.

In recent years the output has continued, but with varied results. Different band names, different styled solo albums – its all been a little hold and cold. A little frustrating when coming from a place of love and respect for an artist.

Now its time for the most used lineup of recent years to come into the studio for an all-new album. Michael Anthony, Vic Johnson and Jason Bonham pound out 37 minutes of mostly hard driving rock n roll, with that bluesy classic rock edge. Its great to hear Sammy fully plugged in and rocking it pretty hard on this record, which also features a great, raw, live sound.

While it does rock and it’s a fun record to crank in the car, I still miss Sammy Hagar the singer/songwriter – the guy responsible for Standing Hampton, Three Lock Box, Danger Zone, Marching To Mars and I Never Said Goodbye. Not being heavy for the sake of it or anything for that matter – just delivering great songs.

Now Sammy and band sound great here – but it’s a mood album – and therefore for me won’t get nearly as much as some of the albums in his vast catalogue.

Disliking Elvis Costello with a passion doesn’t help – the cover of Pump It Up is pretty forgettable, plus there’s a 2-minute acoustic intro song to the album – that leaves just half an hour of songs, which leaves no room for the occasional filler, which this album still has.

Album highlight is a classic old-school Sammy track Father Time. Love that!

Great to hear Sammy still rocking and recording, but this is an album I’ll pick tracks from rather than repeat start to finish.