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Slash Solo Album Falls Short

Slash's self-titled solo album lacks the magic of the good old days. Slash's self-titled solo album lacks the magic of the good old days.

He is hands down one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, but Slash peeked in the ‘80s, and no matter what he tries, he can’t get close to recapturing the magic. His new self-titled solo album, Slash, certainly isn’t doing it.

Okay, maybe that’s too much to expect of the ex-Guns ‘N Roses axe-wielder. But could we get a sniff, at least, of the balls-out razor’s-edge rock-and-fucking-roll that made Appetite For Destruction such a timeless bomb blast?

Slash, the album not the dude, dropped this month and features a cornucopia of rock and pop stars doing guest vocals, as well as some guest stars playing instruments. But few of them are able to do justice to Slash’s guitar playing.

Slash is in fine form on this record, but the other performances are hit and miss.

Let’s start with a look at what’s working.

First of all, virtually every Slash guitar solo is gold. His lyricism combined with his ability to hammer out a nasty lick have long held him in good stead. His taste and instinct for rocking out at the right moment have always made him a better soloist than 98% of the technical wizards out there.

Also, a lot of the basic riffs are rocking, like “Dr. Alibi,” featuring Lemmy from Motorhead. But somehow, the track falls flat without living up to the promise of its opening moments.

The problem is that the vocalists don’t always deliver, and then the ones who do still can’t transcend the too-pristine feeling of the album. What made Appetite for Destruction so good, and what made Guns ‘N Roses at their best a force to be reckoned with was that they were gritty, sleazy, and rough around the edges.

No one on Slash’s solo album sounds like they might punch you in the face when you catch them getting a blowjob from your girlfriend. In other words, the whole thing lacks the charming badassery of G’nR.

But hey, people get older and they mature. It doesn’t make for the best rock in the world however, which is probably why some of the better songs on Slash are surprises.

Take “Gotten,” for instance. Maroon 5’s Adam Levine provides the vocals, and it’s one of the strongest tracks on the record. That’s probably because it sounds least like a G’nR song, and so is free of the comparisons.

Also, “Promise” (featuring grunge-god turned cock-rocker, Chris Cornell) is another of the better songs on the record. I never thought I’d see the day that Cornell would outdo Ozzy Osbourne or Iggy Pop, but unfortunately the magic is absent for some aging favorites on Slash.

Slash’s self-titled solo album will appeal only to Guns ‘N Roses completionists. In spite of a strong effort by the man himself, his collaborators tend to drop the ball. Anyone looking to relive the glory days of Appetite for Destruction is better off spinning that album.

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Last modified on Thursday, 02 June 2011 16:43

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