The most iconic modern guitarist has gone solo, well sort of! He has enlisted the help of a huge number of superstar singers to craft what is one of the finest Hard Rock release of the year so far!
Slash – Slash
Slash himself provides the guitar wizardry and his signature sleazy blues, stunning soloing and wah wah inflected mega riffing is stamped firmly over the whole album. Yet far from being a one dimensional release, songs range in styles from his staple classic hard rock to blues, pop, metal, prog and even country.
The guest list of this album reads like a who’s who of both classic, modern rock and pop. It’s these collaborators who have defined the albums style more so that slash himself with each track playing to the strengths of the vocalists. Now this can be seen as either lazy on slash’s behalf or a decision taken to produce the finest album possible with the talent available.
The albums opening riff on Ghost is a typical high squalling Slash product and with The Cults Ian Astbury providing the vocal muscle this sets the tone for a polished, hard rock effort packed with hooky pop choruses.
Fergie’s turn on Beautiful Dangerous work surprisingly well and her sultry voice leading a promiscuous riff and blistering solo. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 leads an understated ballad showing blazing guitars can be scaled back to equally good effect, while By The Sword is a trippy meandering acoustic come hard rocker led very fittingly by Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale. There is surprisingly little filler here with only I Hold On with Kid Rock & Chris Cornell led Promise not living up to potential.
Slash is at his best when producing those mammoth rock numbers and the man who compliments him above all else is Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy. This is proven with 2 stunning tracks Back From Cali & Starlight both infected with a slow building bluesy swagger and stratospheric chorus’s!
When the pop edge is finally jilted, the back to basic rock spirit really revels on the superb Doctor Alibi featuring Motorhead’s Lemmy and the metal thrashing is unrelenting on the chugging Nothing To Say, showcasing Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows vocals perfectly & Slash’s axe versatility.
There is something here for everyone and not to like this is criminal as it is a perfectly crafted set of epic rock tunes with huge variety, mass pop appeal and a thumping rock and roll heart!
Mr Flowers Says:
Reliably, Slash’s guitar parts can’t be faulted and each song is appropriately infused with each of it’s collaborators hallmarks. For the most part, the all-star cast bring a lot to the table; Crucify The Dead’s macabre vibe would have been a corn-fest had it not featured one of the men who pioneered it all, and Doctor Alibi is easily one of the most exciting songs on the album with the undeniable vocal tones of Lemmy backed by a crunching 4 power-chord riff. Even Fergie assumes the role of rock goddess convincingly on Beautiful Dangerous. Unfortunately, sharing songwriting duties back fires a bit on Gotten, which sucks slightly *because* it sounds like Maroon 5.
Starlight’s slow-fast combo works well, with its sweet intro and blues/gospel style, and the Iggy Pop collaboration, We’re All Gonna Die, is great too. You could argue having a record written by such a disparate set of songwriters means you can never get a coherent album experience, but as a set of individual songs there’s hardly a foot misplaced.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 8.25/10