The latest guitar hero to lift a page from the book of Santana is ex-Guns ‘n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver axe-master, Slash. The result is an eclectic array of guest spots that boldly encompasses everything from pop to heavy metal. Surprisingly, Slash’s R&Fn’R self-titled effort flourishes in its well-crafted compositions and guitar melodies.
The most classic metal sounding track is “Doctor Alibi” featuring Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead which also offers a fierce Slash solo. One of the heaviest tunes is “Beautiful Dangerous” featuring Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas—and forgive me for feeling this—but it is f*cking awesome. She delivers an intoxicating melody over the choruses that you cannot escape from. I tried. I failed.
On first listen this album came off as nothing more than a feculent undertaking. That feeling was mainly due to lame and wimpy songs like “Gotten” featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and the soft southern sounds of Kid Rock on “I Hold On.” While the Kid Rock ditty has grown on me, “Gotten” still embodies my initial thought.
“Crucify the Dead” featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters is the one outstanding track of the bunch and will be the one that hard rock fans will remember in ten years.
Slash’s best shred work is heard on “Nothing to Say” featuring M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold and the instrumental “Watch This” featuring Dave Grohl and Duff McKagan.
Other notable guest performances are Iggy Pop’s iconic punk leadership on the closing “We’re All Gonna Die,” and Myles Kennedy’s solid lead vocals on “Starlight” and “Back From Cali.” Kennedy certainly is a good choice to lead the band on Slash’s summer tour.
Chris Cornell on “Promise” is disappointing, sounding less 1992 and more like his last solo effort. Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother lends his irritating voice to “By the Sword.” The music is good but it would have sounded better with the real Robert Plant, or even Jack White for that matter.
Slash has exceeded most of my expectations as I was initially one of the many non-believers in this concept. While this disc may not have much relevance in twenty years, and will quickly end up in the 99-cent used bin at your local music store chain, there are more than enough reasons to give it some love today.
- “Ghost” feat. Ian Astbury
- “Crucify the Dead” feat. Ozzy Osbourne
- “Beautiful Dangerous” feat. Fergie
- “Back from Cali” feat. Myles Kennedy
- “Promise” feat. Chris Cornell
- “By the Sword” feat. Andrew Stockdale
- “Gotten” feat. Adam Levine
- “Doctor Alibi” feat. Lemmy
- “Watch This” feat. Dave Grohl & Duff McKagan
- “I Hold On” feat. Kid Rock
- “Nothing to Say” feat. M. Shadows
- “Starlight” feat. Myles Kennedy
- “Saint is a Sinner Too” feat. Rocco DeLuca
- “We’re All Gonna Die” feat. Iggy Pop