SAMMY HAGAR – Cosmic Universal Fashion

SAMMY HAGAR - Cosmic Universal Fashion
  • 7.5/10
    SAMMY HAGAR - Cosmic Universal Fashion - 7.5/10


Release date: November 14, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

He is nothing if not persistent. Sammy Hagar returns again to rock the house. Strange phrase for a Hard Rock album? Not for this one. In contrast to his last album, Livin’ It Up which hardly had any connection to the harder side of life and focused on beach, party and calypso instead, he returns to Hard Rock, but lets many other influences in, including modern sounds and electronic beats. Strange? Certainly.

But Sammy would not be Sammy if he would go at it the safe way. It seems he always had the luxury of being able to do what he liked, or at least never cared about anything else, as next to his musical career which is, of course, still overshadowed by his years with Van Halen, he also owns the “most rockin’ club in the world, the Cabo Wabo Cantina” and a premium Tequila brand. So he has got nothing to prove, and that is something which is obvious on this record. Sammy just does not care about conventions or expectations, he does his thing.

The opening title track sounds as if Sammy had a session with Eminem. Shocked? Don’t be, it is a fantastic song, which was written together with Iraqui Rocker Steven Lost. After a dozen spins this track turns out to be the best song on the album, regardless how unusual it sounds to the fans who expect a typical Hagar composition. But what is typical about Sammy anyway?

The heavy “Psycho Vertigo” begins with a Van Halen sound and is quite catchy. With over five minutes it drags on a bit, but delivers as much as the intense “Peephole” which has strong Alternative and Grunge tendencies. Has Sammy been to Seattle lately? With track four, “Loud”, the guitarero delivers typical Hard Rock stuff for the first time on Cosmic Universal Fashion. While this is not bad, it is so generic that it cannot be called anything else but merely mediocre.

You want more surprises? Not a problem, track number five is a cover version. Of the Beastie Boys. Yes, the guys with “Fight For Your Right To Party”. And guess what, Sammy chose that very song to play! After that a funky, bluesy “Switch On The Light” changes genres again, before “When The Sun Don’t Shine” turns the album’s back to Hard Rock and returns to Country and beach music, the only connection to the latest Hagar release.

But towards the end of the album, Mr. Hagar finally delivers what the audience was hoping for. “24365” is a solid heavy rock song, and the track “I’m On A Roll” which was released as a single earlier, is a driving uptempo song which will not leave any foot unmoved. As a closer we get a live performance of Van Halen’s “Dreams” and “Cabo Wabo” at his own club, backed by a very enthusiastic audience. Seems like a good place for some Rock and a tequila.

Overall, Cosmic Universal Fashion is a solid release, but it is also to be approached with care. This is not the usual Hard Rock album, but after Livin’ It Up, fans of the Red Rocker know that sometimes the curly head gives his fans something to think about. The same is true here, but several solid, and a few outstanding tunes, make this a good album, although not as good as the classic Standing Hampton or his best solo release after the Van Halen phase so far, Ten 13.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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