by AliW1993 USER (134 Reviews)
April 2nd, 2010 | 37 replies

Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Slash hides behind his friends when he should be taking the front seat.

Throughout musical history, collaborations have proven to be very hit-and-miss affairs, whatever the style of the artists concerned. We all remember classics such as The Pogues and Kirst MacColl’s Fairytale Of New York, but there has also been a fair share of horrors that have given the practice a bad name (eg, Mark Ronson featuring… well…anyone). Collaborative albums can be even more hot or cold. Last year Chris Cornell took a massive dump on his legacy in releasing Timbaland produced Scream, while on the flipside Gorillaz recent effort Plastic Beach proves that the method can also be used to great success.

The album that is the subject of this review contains a bit of both worlds, and falls somewhere in-between in terms of end product. The names on the guestlist certainly can’t be faulted – in fact, on paper it’s one of the strongest you’re ever likely to see. Perhaps unexpectedly, variety is present with chart-dominating vocalists like Fergie, Kid Rock and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 lending their hands alongside rock royalty such as Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop and Dave Grohl. Many fans won’t need any persuading to go out and buy this record, but a quick glance down the tracklist will certainly prove persuasive for more hesitant customers.

You may have noticed that this review has so far been devoid of any references to the actual artist whose name is stamped on the front of the record – Slash. This is because for the majority of his debut solo album proper, the legendary axeman takes a backseat, with much of the focus being on the aforementioned guests. In fact, up until mid-album fist-pumper Doctor Alibi it's easy to forget that this is actually a Slash record and not a soundtrack, such is his relative redundancy. It’s not that his distinctive guitar sound isn’t showcased throughout the early stages, but there’s no evidence of the memorable riffs he pulled off frequently with Guns N Roses and to a lesser extent Velvet Revolver. There are, of course, the indulgent solo’s he is equally famed for, but again nothing really stands out up until this point, and as a result much of the opening half sounds lame instrumentally.

This mid-album highlight does, however, turn the tide a little, and from then on the record is far more in line with what you’d expect from one of rocks most iconic musicians. In fact, if everything here sounded like the instrumental that follows, Watch This, the album would almost certainly be an unqualified success, with Slash’s aggressive metallic riffs combining with Dave Grohl’s typical powerhouse drumming and Duff McKagan’s chunky basslines to impressive effect. The rest of the second half carries on in a similar vein, with songs such as Nothing To Say featuring far more interesting guitar work than anything from the early stages.

Unfortunately, this upturn in instrumental performance is not complimented by improved songs, and it is this more than anything else that lets the record down. The vast majority of the songs featured are simply generic meat and potatoes hard rock, with predictable structures and underwhelming performances producing fewer hits than misses. The cause certainly isn’t helped by a few lyrical misadventures either, with Iggy Pop’s corker; Gee, I really like your tits/I'll say anything that fits only one of the more obvious examples of this problem. Sure, the collaborators may have been responsible for penning these words, but Slash could certainly have intervened to prevent certain moments of his album from becoming nothing short of laughable.

The idea of attracting such big names for his solo debut certainly wasn’t a bad one, but poor execution too often lets the record down. There are certainly some pairings such as that with Adam Levine on Gotten that work well, but these are countered somewhat by moments like Fergie-featuring Beautiful Dangerous that just sound awkward and rather forced. The sheer number of stars on show and the odd excellent moment make the album a whole passable, yet much of the music on offer leaves much to be desired. Furthermore, the fact that Slash is totally overshadowed by his guests much of the time somewhat defeats the point – it is supposed to be his album after all. Clearly he needs guests to perform full rocking songs, but too often here Slash seems content to take a back seat, and his album suffers as a result.

Recommended Tracks
Doctor Alibi
Watch This
Nothing To Say

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user ratings (357)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
April 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

Albums streaming here;

Not too happy with the review, and I know it reads more like a 2.5 but nvm. Comments and constructive criticism appreciated :-)

Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 5.0


mark ronson is the antichrist.

nothing to say is pretty good. better than most of the stuff on a7x s/t...

April 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 1.5

Doctor Alibi is the shit not gonna lie

April 2nd 2010


Surely 3/5 has got to be too high for this

April 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

Like I said it reads more like a 2.5 but I was a little kind with the rating cos I still quite enjoyed this despite its problems

Thanks whoever pos'd btw

Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


Nice review Ali. It get's your point across effectively & is well-balanced.

"generic meat and potatoes hard rock" I'm gonna love it, aren't I?

April 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

cheers davey and yeah, sounds right up your alley ;-)

April 2nd 2010


Good review, one thing though:

The rest of the second half carries on in a similar vein, with songs such as Nothing To Say featuring far more interesting guitar work than anything from the early stages.

The tracklist says that's song 3.

April 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

thanks, the tracklist is wrong i'll fix that

April 2nd 2010


Wondering why this came up as 4 stars on the front page...

Edit: Duh, someone else reviewed it too. Stupid Ross.

April 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

I REALLY want to love this since I saw who was involved, but i've been addicted to john butler trio the last 2 weeks and well, to be honest, this is sounding lame in comparison!

April 3rd 2010


Frankly, I couldn't really get through the first half of the album. It's just so generic.

April 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Excellent Album

April 3rd 2010


lol a 5

Mr. Lizard
April 3rd 2010


wtf the artwork I mean seriously what the fuck is that

April 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

this is a damn good album. track 3 is actually my favorite

April 3rd 2010


We're all gonna die is my absolute hands down favourite.

In the words of Henry Rollins, "You could take all the drugs, pharmaceuticals, barbituas and whatever else Mr Presley stuffed in his face over his life and put them in one big mixing bowl, give them to Iggy Pop circa 1975 and go "here Iggy, have some fun". Then he would go out and play a show. And after that show, know what he would do? Score some drugs. And that's why Iggy Pop is the king of Rock n Roll."

'nuf said.

April 6th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

I didn't think this would be as good as it is!

April 6th 2010


I heard three songs. Fuck you Slash!

April 6th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

This album kicks ass. Tons of different styles with great singers and of course sick guitar all over the place. I can't even pick a favorite song, there are too many.

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