2010, Roadrunner Records
Hard Rock

Debutto solista incolore per Slash
Review by Daniele Carlucci - Publish on: 16/04/10

We have been wating and longing for it for a long time, but finally the time has come. Obviously, I'm talking about of the solo cd of one of the greatest personalities in rock history. Such a characteristic guy, immediately distinguishable among millions, with thick and curly hair, the famous top hat and his Ray Ban covering the eyes, as to shyly hide his glance. Gone are the times when, because of the shyness, before going on the stage he drank up till drunkenness, in order to be free of inhibitions. Those were the times where a young and crazy band was going to conquer the world, between unconsciousness and excesses, and Slash was the guitarist of that group. Nowadays Guns n' Roses is no more existing (yes, technically it still exist, but I prefer to consider them as Axl Rose's cover band and I shall stop here, otherwise I could digress and become really harsh) and the musician has reached enough success to be consider as an absolute celebrity. Everybody looks for him and wants him. From this many collaborations were born with international artists, even belonging to a totally different kind of music. When he started working on his own solo album, Slash asked for support to his vocalists and musicians. And as title, he simply chose his name.

"Slash" comes out with a lot of expectations, but the first feeling isn't totally positive. I listen to it again and again, hoping for different emotions at every turn, without any result. This album probably will split fans; there's just a little of the wild and overwhelming guitarist we all knew. Now, when you talk about such a top artist, on the one hand there is the risk to hallow or honor him, and on the other hand to crucify and destroy him. I think that we have to find a balance and objectivity. And unfortunately, I do think this is a mediocre album. The tracks are too different and you can easily lose the thread; it seems a compilation made by various artists. Of course, there's something interesting, but seems that Slash just did the bare minimum. Not enough if you've in your mind the notes of songs like "Welcome To The Jungle" or "Paradise City". And I assure you that is not trying to dig up again the past, but simply this is the awareness that from such a big musician you need to expect something more than that.


The opener "Ghost" is involving thanks to its easy-going rock and Ian Astbury (The Cult) make it even more particular, with his unmistakable voice, but it is just a flash in the pan: "Crucify The Dead", sung by "The Prince Of Darkness" Ozzy Osbourne, put off the beginning enthusiasm and the following "Beautiful Dangerous" is not convincing in the refrains, even if Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) shows a lot of grit and charisma. In "Back From Cali" you can appreciate the extraordinary talent of Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge), who is going to follow Slash in the album support's tour: the same one vocalist also sings in one of the last tracks, "Starlight", a nice ballad performed in a masterly fashion. Among the best cd's songs there's "Promise", with Chris Cornell, melodic and catchy, where Slash places a pleasant guitar solo. The first album's single "By The Sword" is a kind of  solid and massive blues, characterized by the particular sing of  Andrew Stockdale (Wolfmother) and an interesting guitar riff. When I heard for the first time "Gotten", I thought was a mistake: it's out of place, and on the other hand, with vocalist Adam Levine from Maroon 5, only a slow and soporific song could come out. It's ready to be a radio-hit for sure, but totally unsuitable for a rock star's album. The energy of "Doctor Aliby", with Lemmy's raspy voice, at least make up for the previous track, with some fast hard rock, raw and not even much refined. In the instrumental "Watch This" there's the collaboration between Dave Grohl and Duff McKagan, but this track doesn't leave a mark, being heavy and dark. "I Hold On", sung by Kid Rock, is really radio-friendly and offers a pleasant listening. "Nothing To Say" had a strange effect on me, since that is an atypical song from the guitarist: heavy music, nervous and aggressive, as I've never heard before from Slash's fingertips. To close the album are "Saint Is A Sinner", played by Rocco DeLuca, that's an acoustic march with a gloomy atmosphere, and "We're All Gonna Die", performed with Iggy Pop: a light-hearted song, however it isn't exceptional or unforgettable.

As you can see, the cd is so various that seems to be a compilation. Of course, Slash assigned the tracks to the right people, so that they could perform at their best, but frankly, in some moment, I had the impression that there was too much "pop" inside. It is as if the gas pedal prayed to be pressed, but it simply remains dusty and full of spider webs.

I am just cold. And if this sensation comes from the one who warmed up my heart like no other with his music, then, maybe something's wrong.

01. Ghost (feat. Ian Astbury)
02. Beautiful Dangerous (feat. Fergie)
03. Crucify The Dead (feat. Ozzy Osbourne)
04. Back From Cali (feat. Myles Kennedy)
05. Promise (feat. Chris Cornell)
06. By The Sword (feat. Andrew Stockdale)
07. Gotten (feat. Adam Levine)
08. Doctor Alibi (feat. Lemmy)
09. Watch This (feat. Dave Grohl & Duff McKagan)
10. I Hold On (feat. Kid Rock)
11. Nothing To Say (feat. M. Shadows)
12. Starlight (feat. Myles Kennedy)
13. Saint Is A Sinner Too (feat. Rocco DeLuca)
14. We're All Gonna Die (feat. Iggy Pop)

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