V is more about attitude than content. Diving into the mystery that is the 21st century, Live changed their clothes, their haircuts, and their sound to make for a "hipper" image. Although a development process is essential for any band, the transformation that Live underwent for V is an embarrasing one. Instead of being an ambitious underground outfit from the midwest as they were once regarded, they turned into shallow, media-obsessed celebrities who tried very hard to dress like Metallica and party with movie stars in Los Angeles.
The music reflects this. And just as one might suspect, it walks a fine line between fair and terrible. With appearances from Tricky, filtered vocal effects, sampled instruments from Eastern continents, and lyrical depths that call upon late-night parties that involve "sweaty thongs and sweaty backs," almost all of V sounds like a huge commercial outing with no soul to speak of. Zip, zero, nada. It's hard to believe these were the same guys that made Throwing Copper, or even The Distance To Here.
While there are no great songs, parts of these songs sound decent. Transmit Your Love and Like A Soldier are examples of tunes that could have been much better if Live would have just followed their instinct. But we have to take V as it is. As for me, I can never listen to Forever May Not Be Long Enough without rolling my eyes.