Sunday, April 25, 2010

Slash - Slash

Packed with a veritable smorgasbord of vocalists and layered with luscious guitar solos by one of the modern masters, Slash’s self titled solo offering is a treat for the ears. The guitar work throughout the album is bold and beautiful, the type of blues rock guitar that’s been missing from the music world for far too long. Whatever Slash had to prove by releasing a solo album, he’s proven it ten-fold. No longer under the influence of substances, and without other band members to answer to, Slash was able to go in whatever direction he chose. The end result was an album that the fans are bound to embrace.

How Slash was able to get so many top name singers to work with him shows that his connections run deeper than anyone suspected. From Ian Astbury to Dave Grohl to Fergie, Slash has a cornucopia of singers on his record. Each vocalist has his or her own style or signature sound, which sometimes help the song and sometimes harms it.

Beautiful Dangerous, which features Fergie, may seem about the oddest pairing on the disc. It also is the strongest song on the collection. Fergie shows off her rock side with fierce power. Her vocals play off Slash’s guitar exceptionally well and the raw energy she brings to the chorus make Beautiful Dangerous one of the hardest rocking songs on the album. Expect to hear this one everywhere, especially this summer.

In the case of Doctor Alibi, which features none other than Lemmy Kilmster of Motorhead on vocals, the song sounds like a Motorhead song. This is no fault of Slash’s. It’s just that Lemmy’s voice is so individually unique. With tight, fast chords, and quick dazzling solos, Doctor Alibi could easily be mistaken for the latest Motorhead release.

Promise, featuring Chris Cornell, sounds like a left over track from the Audioslave days. While the song is incredible with beautiful guitar work that compliments Cornell’s vocals perfectly, it is eerily reminiscent of Cornell’s days with one Mr. Tom Morello. Promise is a strong power ballad that shows off both Slash’s ability on guitar and Cornell’s amazing vocal power.

By The Sword has a White Stripes feel to it, and if I didn’t check the credits, I would swear that it was Jack White on vocals and not Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale. Opening with a slow acoustic riff and Stockdale sounding exactly like Jack White, By The Sword is a powerful anthem that has a very modern flair.

The two tracks sung by Myles Kennedy are very reminiscent of Slash’s Snakepit, Slash’s first post Guns N Roses project. Kennedy lends his talent to Back From Cali and Starlight. Both songs are heavily blues influenced and both could have appeared on a Snakepit record with no tailoring required. These are perhaps the two best songs on the album after Beautiful Dangerous and they are worth the price of the disc alone. Factor in all the additional gifts that Slash is presenting, and it’s painfully obvious that this album is one to add to the collection.

Layered with lavish guitar work that is perhaps the best Slash has done to date, Slash is a metal lover’s dream solo album. Featuring incredible guitar solos that inspire each singer to be themselves, vocal power from all over the globe, and fun, blues jams, Slash is a terrific solo album that should be owned by anyone who ever loved, or still loves, this master of guitar.

Ryo’s Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)

Track Listing
Ghost (w/Ian Astbury)
Crucify The Dead (w/ Ozzy Osbourne)
Beautiful Dangerous (w/ Fergie)
Back From Cali (w/ Myles Kennedy)
Promise (w. Chris Cornell)
By The Sword (w/ Andrew Stockdale)
Gotten (w/ Adam Levine)
Doctor Alibi (w/ Lemmy)
Watch This Dave (w/ Dave Grohl and Duff McKagan)
I Hold On (w/ Kid Rock)
Nothing To Say (w/ M. Shadows)
Starlight (w/ Myles Kennedy)
Saint Is A Sinner Too (w/ Rocco Deluca)
We’re All Gonna Die (w/ Iggy Pop)

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