When you’ve had numerous concussions due to sports and wild exploits in college, you tend to forget things.

During the most recent Millard with the Music Reviews column, I forgot to mention the name Wolfgang Van Halen. You’ve likely heard a couple of his songs played on Capital City Rock. This column is generally used for newer albums, but I figured I’d tell you all about the lone Wolfgang Van Halen (or Mammoth WVH as he calls himself) album. The other albums I will be reviewing include the new Skillet and The Weeknd albums. For an added treat, I’m including a fourth album by Morgan Wade from 2021 that you might’ve missed.

‘Mammoth WVH’ (Mammoth WVH, June 11)

“Mammoth WVH” is the debut self-titled album for Wolfgang Van Halen. He is the son of Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli. On this album, Wolfgang sings and plays guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. He does it all. WVH is raw as raw can be. He’s still trying to find his sound, but his songwriting ability is very good. He kinda reminds me of As I Lay Dying or Theory of a Deadman in terms of his sound, which isn’t a bad thing. Prepare some tissues for the final track “Distance,” which WVH wrote his father after he passed away.

Scotty’s Favorite Songs: “Distance,” “Resolve” and “Epiphany.”

Scotty’s Score: 79/100.

‘Dominion’ (Skillet, January 14)

I’ve known of Skillet for decades, and have even seen them in concert in Sturgis. They’re likely the most popular Christian rock band going today, and they get a good amount of mainstream rock radio airplay. “Dominion” is their latest offering. John Cooper and Jen Ledger’s vocals are still the highlight of this band. They’ll have their standard rock arena anthems that will surely be used by the WWE for a premium live event theme song. The underrated part of Skillet is that they can also perform quite the stirring ballad. This album isn’t as good as 2006’s “Comatose” or 2009’s “Awake,” but it’s passable.

Scotty’s Favorite Songs: “Valley of Death,” “Refuge” and “Forever or the End.”

Scotty’s Score: 74/100.

‘Dawn FM’ (The Weeknd, January 7)

I like The Weeknd, but I’m not a big fan of how overplayed he can be on the radio. Seems like your chances of hearing a The Weeknd song on the radio are triple that of other artists. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t think that The Weeknd was one of the most talented artists going today. “Dawn FM” is a fun record. It features skits done properly, and it has a fun 80’s feel to it. It feels old and brand new at the same time. There’s very few features, which allows The Weeknd’s true talent to shine. Add me to the listen of critics that love this album.

Scotty’s Favorite Songs: “Gasoline,” “Out of Time” and “Less Than Zero.”

Scotty’s Score: 83/100.

‘Reckless’ (Morgan Wade, March 19)

When watching YouTuber Grady Smith’s year-end best albums countdown, I came across “Reckless” by Morgan Wade. Smith noted that Morgan Wade is often discovered by people who are looking to listen to Morgan Wallen. Wallen himself even told people they should check out Wade’s record. Morgan Wade isn’t your typical country artist. She’s heavily tattooed, has a gravely Virginia accent, and has maybe one of the best authentic songwriting abilities I’ve seen in a long time. “Reckless” is her debut album, and it was named the Best Country Album by Rolling Stone. I don’t often, if ever, agree with Rolling Stone, but you’d be hard pressed to find many albums of any genre better than this. From the first to the end, this is an album you need to listen to.

Scotty’s Favorite Songs: The entire album

Scotty’s Score: 99/100.

Scott Millard | 605-295-8429

Scott Millard has been the sports reporter for the Capital Journal since 2017. He was previously an intern with the Capital Journal during the summer of 2016.

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