Let's say up front that I never bought into the whole David vs. Sammy thing. I never called Van Halen "Van Hagar" when Sammy was in the band. While I loved all of the early Van Halen albums (still do), I was just as crazy about the Van Halen albums with Sammy up front.
What's astonishing is just how FRIGGIN' GOOD Sammy still is after all these years. The guy hasn't lost a step. He is incredible on this album.
I think it was a great choice sticking with Michael Anthony, and an even better choice bringing on Joe Satriani. (You may or may not recall how David Lee Roth picked up Steve Vai when he went solo. Probably the only real contender on the planet to set up against Eddie Van Halen. Well, Joe Satriani was Steve Vai's instructor. Satriani might be the third worthy candidate to roll with these rockers.)
The way the band comes together on this album is some kind of magnificent. They play together as if they were made for each other. Everything is TIGHT and STRONG. The riffs are awesome, the guitar tone exquisite, the bass and drums driving (in the way VH fans will definitely appreciate).
Altogether -- great album. Great songs. And an amazingly fluid and flawless super-concoction of killer talent.