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    Slash 6 ( 2010 )
    Ghost / Crucify the Dead / Beautiful Dangerous / Back from Cali / Promise / By the Sword / Gotten / Doctor Alibi / Watch This / I Hold On / Nothing To Say / Starlight / Saint Is a Sinner Too / We're All Gonna Die

    Star-studded guests line-up to help former Guns N Roses guitarist 'Slash' record his solo debut entitled simply 'Slash'. This is a mixed bag vocalist wise but guitar wise happily old-fashioned late 80s style rock/metal. The production values are professional and polished, no bells and whistles. When Ian Astbury of The Cult opens up his gob on 'Ghost', I really do get transported back in time, a time before Grunge hit, a simpler time. It's a good track with a strong chorus that deserves to be a hit. I wouldn't mind Astbury forming a full-time band with Slash. Could work, couldn't it? Anyway, Ozzy Osbourne arrives to 'Crucify The Dead' and owns the track. Even if the guy is basically losing his marbles, that's the few he's got left, he still has a great rock voice. Musically, 'Crucify The Dead' has less memorable aspects, apart from the inevitably great (albeit too short) guitar solo from Slash. More controversial elements abound, the arrival of Black Eyed Peas 'Fergie', for instance. For all the rock posturing, Fergie doesn't convince and sounds ill-suited to the material. Adam Levine from Maroon 5 sings 'Gotten', an apparent sensitive rock ballad. It's utterly forgettable stuff and as for 'I Hold On' featuring Kid Rock, nobody should ever let Kid Rock near a microphone, full stop. His lyrics are predictably awful and Slash seems to produce a mediocre track to match his vocalists 'talents'.

    Chris Cornell lends some class to 'Promise', Dave Grohl and Duff McKagan rock out on the instrumental 'Watch This' and you suddenly yearn for Slash to form a proper band again, even if only a one-off 'super-group' to prove that he can produce stunningly high results when he puts his mind to it. Sure, 'Watch This' is indulgent instrumental virtuosity that serves no real purpose, but hell, it sounds great anyway. A final word for two more songs, 'Doctor Albi' featuring Lemmy from Motorhead and 'We're All Gonna Die' featuring Iggy Pop. Lemmy does Lemmy over Slash by numbers, albeit very heavy Slash by numbers. There's a contrast between the British dirt of Slash and the polished LA-isms for Slash and his band. It doesn't quite work, but I thoroughly enjoy Lemmy's vocal in any case. Iggy then let's us know, hell, we're all gonna die. I was looking forward to this track, it doesn't quite disappoint but I wanted Slash to go more garage rock. Iggy delivers one of the albums finest vocals though, suitably growled and menacing. Hire the guy to sing on a Black Sabbath album right now, I say.

    So, 'Slash' by Slash. An hour long, depending on territory. A perfect album for the ITunes generation in that you really can pick and choose your tracks depending on vocalist preference and forget the whole as an entity. That's my problem with the album though, it doesn't hang together. Well, it wouldn't I suppose, but how about Slash works with two or three vocalists only next time around and perhaps thinks about producing more instrumentals? Well, it works for Jeff Beck. Actually, all of this has just made me want to go and listen to Jeff Beck instead so I'll probably do that rather than type any more here.

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    Readers Comments

    Joel Sweden
    While the album is, in most ways, utterly predictable, it is also utterly welcome. One has to hand it to the man, especially if one compares this to the recent solo record by fellow guitar god Joe Perry. (Where one wishes he would make as proper use of the vast number of vocalists that's out there as do Slash!) If you want to learn how to play rock guitar, this is the only record you need. The new generation can't play like this. They can play fast and perfectly in time, or they can't play at all, but Slash plays with a tone and groove that is to die for. Of course, musically, the album is a patchwork, but with all its display of styles and genres, it's a fun listen. I generally thought the songs worked even if they may not all be of the finest pedigree. I also thought that the Fergie track was surprisingly good and a given hit single, and that songs like "Starlight" and "I Hold On", with all their Night Ranger type cheese, still convinced in the sense that they we! re good tunes, especially the first. The latter won a few extra points for using a Dark Side-style ladies' choir, but of course, it would've been even better if Myles Kennedy had sung it. I guess I get the same feelings as do you when it comes to "Watch This". While being utter wankery, it's still a tremendous display of power that few youngsters could match. One almost dares not to imagine Slash joining Them Crooked Vultures. The thought is too awe-inducing. But yeah, Slash ought to be in a band, even though he just proved that he, unlike Joe of Aerosmith, can stand on his own legs.

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    this page last updated 19/09/10

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