Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yes, we really did need a solo album from Slash

I may be a classical music snob, but I've also got a weakness for glam metal from the '80s.  Earlier this week  I heard on Twitter that Slash from Guns 'N Roses had just released a solo album.  I had to get it from Amazon as soon as humanly possible, which was about an hour, or as long as it took me to finish my workout and run home.  (Yes, I check my Twitter stream while I'm at the gym. I have an iPhone and I'm not afraid to use it.)

The album has shades of Slash's recent work with Velvet Revolver mixed with riffs from his Guns 'N Roses days.  The songs are throwbacks to the kind of music GnR used to make but updated and processed for 2010.  By no means do they sound as raw as "Appetite for Destruction;" they're closer in style to "Use Your Illusion," but without Axl Rose's overwrought drama and pathos.  Rather than use one lead singer, Slash showcases 13 different artists, including Fergie, Ian Astbury, Kid Rock, and Iggy Pop.  Some work better than others.  Ozzy Osbourne sounds out of place with Slash's music, but Ian Astbury and Myles Kennedy fit right into his style.  I never thought Fergie would be able to rock out like she does on "Beautiful Dangerous."  And I like Chris Cornell's song "Promise" better than just about everything he did with Audioslave. 

The album doesn't sound so much like a cohesive whole as it does an all-star assortment of songs, but who cares?  I like Slash's style.  I don't think he made this album to impress critics or make new fans.  The man doesn't need the money.  He made an album because he could, and he wrote the music he wanted to write.  And as a fan whose musical tastes haven't evolved far beyond what I liked in 1992, I wholeheartedly approve.

No matter what, the album puts Axl's "Chinese Democracy" to shame. 

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