Balance tries to open up the Van Hagar formula somewhat. Eddie Van Halen sincerely attempts to improve the group musically, by adding more subtle and assured ballads and more fearless rockers. No matter how hard he tries, he's weighed down by the most predictable rhythm section in all of rock & roll, which gives each number the same unvarying deadlocked pulse, completely obliterating Eddie's increased musical sensitivity. Of course, he isn't helped by Sammy Hagar, either. With the first single, "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)," Hagar tries to follow the social conscience that served him so well on "Right Now." Unfortunately, he can't help himself and slips back to the raucous partying of "Amsterdam" -- you know, the place where they're allowed to smoke pot and stuff.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine