Still heart-broken I didn’t get to see them live.
Rocking out with your cock out!
It would be a god-send if I got to see them at Soundwave next year.
This is going to AMAZING!!!
Fingers crossed I get to see two of my most favourite musicians in a couple of months time!
Slash is one of the most respected guitarists of all time, garnering the second spot on TIME Magazine’s “10 Best Electric Guitar Players of All-Time”. His skillful playing in Guns N’ Roses, one of the pioneering hard rock bands during the late 80’s, and Velvet Revolver; as well solo projects such a Slash’s Snakepit and steady appearances with the likes of Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper and Fergie from Black Eyed Peas, have made Slash a household name. Slash’s fretwork can be at times terrifyingly precise (See: November Rain 7:04-9:08) and incredibly soulful (See: November Rain again 4:12-5:02) and this flexibility has enabled Slash to integrate into many genres outside of Metal and Rock seamlessly.
Personally, Slash is one my biggest idols and influences and pretty much got me into playing guitar and listening to Rock N’ Roll. When I first heard Sweet Child O’ Mine in it’s entirety, I nearly jizzed myself, it was that good, and it forever changed my outlook on music. It’s hard to imagine what kind of person I’d be today, if it weren’t for Slash.
So I was slightly surprised, when I first listened to Slash’s self-titled album, and realized that a lot of my expectations were not met. Though I wasn’t there at the time, it seemed that when Slash was writing most of the songs, he thought first of what singers he wanted, and then molded the songs to fit their individual voices and styles. A good example of this is on the 7th track, “Gotten”, which features Maroon 5’s Adam Levine; the track could easily be mistaken for something of a Maroon 5 album and it’s a stretch to think Slash wrote the song, then chose who would feature.
Slash is a mixed-bag of results; some tracks work, some are okay and some are…not so great:
1. Ghost (feat. Ian Astbury & Izzy Stradlin) - A great album opener; this track works because Slash is working with two people who share a similar style to him and because Izzy Stradlin works exceptionally well with Slash (See: Guns N’ Roses- Appetite For Destruction). The riffs are classic hard rock and conjure the magic of Slash in his prime. One of the best on the album.
2. Crucify the Dead (feat. Ozzy Osbourne and Taylor Hawkins) - This track starts off kind of generic, but when Ozzy peels back the cobwebs of age and unleashes a glimmer of his former glory, everything falls into place. Taylor Hawkins provides a respectable rhythm section. A sold track, if slightly forgettable.
3. Beautiful Dangerous (feat. Fergie) - As soon as this track started, I sensed something was wrong. If Fergie and Slash were aiming to make the ultimate stripper song, they may have just succeeded; Fergie’s moans at the start of the song poorly copying the bridge of Guns N’ Roses “Rocket Queen” in an attempt tp create an uneasy sense of sleaze and “sexiness”. And just when you think things can’t get any worse, the chorus starts and this song reaches the pinnacle of awfulness. Honestly, this song didn’t need to be included on the album at all (I’m putting most of the blame on Fergie — it’s hard to see Slash writing such an atrocity)
4. Back From Cali (feat. Myles Kennedy) - One of the better tracks, Back From Cali opens with a great, slightly-distorted riff by Slash, before Myles Kennedy slides in with perfect vocals. It’s the chorus that’s the real winner here, though; bringing to mind images of driving alongside a sun-soaked beach with friends in tow. The only fault I can find here is that Myle’s voice sounds kinda whiny during the bridge and the solo is a little underwhelming for someone of Slash’s calibre. Overall, one of the album’s best.
5. Promise (feat. Chris Cornell) - This track surprised me, upon an initial listen. Chris Cornell seemed far removed from the bizarro that was 2009’s Scream and his voice really seems to carry this song. The song is a good mix of rock sensibilites, that mesh well with more mainstream melodies and rhthyms. Overall, a solid effort.
6. By The Sword (feat. Andrew Stockdale) - Being a fellow Aussie, I was proud that the Wolfmother frontman was fortunate enough to work with Slash and it seemed their relationship really paid off — By The Sword is one of the best tracks on Slash. Reviving Led Zeppelin-esque riffs, the song builds up to an exciting chorus and bridge. The solo is also marvellous; hitting all the right emotional notes to really connect with the listener. As stated before, one of the album’s best.
7. Gotten (feat. Adam Levine) - The problem I have mainly with this track, is that it doesn’t feel like Slash at all. The track could easily pass off as a new single from a Maroon 5 album (You know, the one EVERYONE has been waiting for). Other than that, the song isn’t so terrible — it just seems misplaced and unneeded.
8. Docotor Alibi (feat. Lemmy) - Having never been a huge fan of his work, it’s funny that it’s Lemmy’s contribution that restored my faith in this album, if only for one song. Upon an initial listen, Doctor Alibi sounds pretty straightforward and even a bit generic, but this is where its brilliance stems from; the simplicity of the song makes it very easy to rock out with your cock out to. Overall, a very fun and energetic song.
9. Watch This (feat. Dave Grohl & Duff McKagan) - The only instrumental track on Slash, Watch This is an interesting experinment in heavy metal. Though the start is a little boring in some aspects, it really picks up during the second half and fully fleshes out the monster within Slash. I have tip my hat off to Dave Grohl and Duff McKagan; Grohl’s drumming and electic fills really keep the energy up and Duff, having worked with Slash for more than 20 years, provides a perfect bass accompaniment. Really, it’s just three very talented musicians messing around and a having a good time.
10. I Hold On (feat. Kid Rock) - I’ve always had a soft spot for power ballads, especially those from the 80’s and I Hold On is a classic example. Sure, it does sound slightly generic and the lyrics seem derivative of every rock song from the past two decades, but it’s still highly enjoyable, as long as it’s only played in the background.
11. Nothing To Say (feat. M. Shadows) - I have a feeling that this song will divide many Slash fans. I’ve been told that Avenged Sevenload are like a modern rendition of Guns N’ Roses and, having only listened to a few of their songs, it would seem that this song is very similar in style to a AX7 track. Once again, it seems like Slash wrote a song for a particular artists, then asked if they could sing on the album. If there is one thing this song does right, it’s show just how electrifying Slash can be after more than 30 years in the industry; his solos and licks seem to jump out at you and prove why he’s considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
12. Starlight (feat. Myles Kennedy) - This track starts off with a dirty, bluesy riff that just oozes melodic saturation. The verse in Starlight is what makes it one of the best tracks on Slash; the combination of Myles Kennedy’s high tenor vocals and Slash’s exceptional tone, make a beautiful duo. The track is wonderfully melodic and one of the better ballads I’ve heard in a long while. The chorus is great for karaoke addicts, who’ll probably struggle with the high notes that Myles hits. In fact, Myles voice is the main driving force behind the whole thing (I have a bias here — being a massive fan of Alter Bridge and Myles Kennedy). The solo in Starlight is also magnificant; the phrasing is challenging and it blurs the line between soulful and speed wonderfully. Also during the solo, the song changes key several times; showing Slash’s impressive songwriting ability. Overall, this song is my second favourite, right after…
13. Saint Is A Sinner Too (feat. Rocco Deluca) - It came as a surprise to me that I fell in love with this song so easily. Whether it’s the vocals, which many will probably find annoying and much to feminine for a male vocalist, or the wonderful acoustic guitar; everything in Saint Is A Sinner Too works for me. Everything comes together to create a beautiful peace of music that is calming, while at the same time passionate and entrancing. Put simply: beautiful. And my favourite song off Slash.
14. We’re All Gonna Die (feat Iggy Pop) - By far the stupidest song Slash, We’re All Gonna Die is also infectiously fun. Perfect for rocking out with your cock out to, this track conjures the fun and stupidity of late 70’s Punk Rock. What really makes this song is Iggy Pop; he brings so much personality to the vocals that it’s hard to see this song being sung by anyone else. Overall, stupid but incredibly fun.
To conclude, Slash is hardly a must-have album of 2010, but any respective Slash fan should pick it up. It doesn’t include a lot of his best work, but it’s still entertaining in small bursts. My only hope is that if Slash does another solo album, he doesn’t hold back and try to please everyone and also picks some better singers (Fergie and Adam Levine probably weren’t needed at all, especially Fergie. Levine wasn’t terrible though)
(P.S. If you want to listen to the whole album for free online, click on the link below)