This is not a bad live album at all. The songs are pretty faithfully reproduced, there's enough variation in the instrumentation to keep the listener from getting bored, the songs are slightly faster paced and hard-hitting, and the selection is decent. Hagar does best on his own stuff, particularly in songs from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and 5150 (probably one of the best VH albums with Hagard). The twi album set includes classic live versions of songs like Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love, Judgement Day, When it's Love, Right Now (I dislike the chorus of this song), Why can't this be Love?, 316, and You Really Got Me. It is worth getting from a CD club or used, but not buying new.
Even David Lee Roth never wrote lyrics this insipid. If you listened to their last studio album, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, you hear VH taking a heavier turn, presumably due to the absence of charismatic former-frontman Roth. But really, barring 5150, the split has gone pretty much downhill for both Roth and Van Halen. Eddie Van Halen can still produce a lot of cool riffs and scorching guitar solos, but it falls short of the awe-inspiring work in Women and Children First. The thing that is most annoying in this album is Hagar's vocals (and I've actually liked it in the past). In fact, it's so grating that it simply makes the rest of the album sound bad (just listen to Big Fat Money and you'll see what I mean). EVH has a new look, and production has a grungier/noisier feel to it, but it is just minimal experimentation. The highlight of this album is EVH's guitar playing---there's nothing else driving this album. The solos are not the shredding kind you see in very early VH albums, but more tempered, thought out, and less wasteful on the notes.
While I have been biased extensively by the amount of radio airplay these songs have been receiving (I must've listened to the Seventh Seal over 50 times by now), particularly cool songs include Don't Tell Me (cool guitar work---should satisfy old fans), Strung Out (the experimentation in noise when an old piano is being taken apart, I believe), Aftershock (again, excellent guitar work), and Baluchitherium (grand prize if you can guess why). Amsterdam is okay and is a bit different in terms of musical style; lyrics are trite, however. Once again, the production is too tinny for my tastes. The thankful thing about this album is that there are three instrumentals!