Review Summary: Friends & Slash present...2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Slash is best known for his work with Guns N’ Roses, writing songs like November Rain, Sweet Child O’ Mine and Rocket Queen, as he developed into one of the icons of rock music. Guns N’ Roses self-destructed in the early 90s and by 1995 Slash was out of the band. Since then he has released two albums with Slash’s Snakepit and two more with the super group Velvet Revolver. Each one of these albums has a couple of really good songs, but overall they are pretty disappointing, considering the guitarist’s legacy.
Slash went solo in 2010, releasing his self-titled album on 31st March in Japan and a week later in the US. Reuniting with former Guns N’ Roses members (except Axl Rose) and featuring various famous musicians, Slash debuted at number 3 in the billboard 200 chart and reached gold in just two weeks, the album was considered a commercial success.
After numerous listens, the first thing I can admit about this particular album is that’s the best album Slash has been involved with since he left Guns N’ Roses. Despite that the album is still a disappointment considering all the talent on the album.
My first complaint would be that the album focuses on the vocals and guest stars much more than it should. The album is called Slash, the person that should be the focal point of at least ¾ of the songs should be the lead guitarist. Unfortunately during most of the songs Slash takes a back seat to let his popular co-stars hog the limelight.
Since the album features so many different collaborations, it really doesn’t follow as well as it should, and most listeners will probably end up listening to a selected few songs and skipping the rest.
‘By the Sword’ and ‘Watch this’ are the exceptions, as Slash really shows what he is capable of on both of them. The former was the lead single on the album. Slash takes control of this hard rock song, with a brilliant solo and a catchy riff. ‘Watch this’ features Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and Duff Mckagan (Guns N’ Roses/Loaded), and is a brilliant instrumental. The song is just one great solo after another, as all members are given an opportunity to shine.
The rest of the album is filled with good songs, and most songs have a decent solo or riff, but considering who the headliner of the album is, there isn’t enough emphasis on the guitar. M.Shadows sings on metal track ‘Nothing to Say’, which features some of Slash’s fastest work ever, but the song doesn’t feel like anything more than an extra Avenged Sevenfold song. It’s not bad at all, but it seems like Slash is guest staring with M.Shadows band, more than the other way round.
Fergie surprises the listeners with her screeching performance on ‘Beautiful Dangerous’, a hook heavy song. The song has a weak intro but builds up considerably after that, and Slash gives a good solo to top it off.
Ozzy Osborne is also featured on the album on rock ballad ‘Crucify the Dead’. The song has weak lyrics and one of the weaker vocal performances on the album. Musically it’s nothing to write home about either, as the focal point of the song is dedicated to Ozzy’s ‘singing’.
Myles Kennedy is the only artist featured on two separate songs, besides Slash of course. Kennedy has a great raw voice that excels on both of these tracks. ‘Back from Cali’ was released as a single, since it’s got a fairly catchy chorus. Slash plays a good bluesy riff to open up the song before the song gains momentum and starts to rock. ‘Starlight’ is another great track, with a couple of good guitar solos. Kennedy steals this song, with an emotional and high vocal style during the chorus. This song is no ‘November Rain’, but it’s the best ballad on the album.
Slash is currently working on another solo album, this time collaborating only with Myles Kennedy. The album should flow better, and we might be given a couple of truly memorable tracks.