Album review of Slash's eponymous solo debut
Slash can't sing, so the former Guns N' Roses guitarist enlisted a motley assortment of veteran rock icons, Sunset Strip hangers-on and present-day pop stars to provide the vocals for his first official solo album, "Slash."
If you've ever wondered what a GnR album would sound like with Adam Levine from Maroon 5 subbing for Axl Rose, here's your answer: kind of strange, but not unpleasant. Everybody on "Slash" sounds like a disembodied, slightly harder, late-'90s version of themselves, as if they were auditioning for an early incarnation of Velvet Revolver.
A rundown, by category:
All-Purpose Grizzled Vets
Ian Astbury, "Ghost": Reminiscent of a great unheard Cult track mixed with a techno-y version of "Welcome to the Jungle."
Ozzy Osbourne, "Crucify the Dead": "You cannot crucify the dead," reasons Ozzy on this freakishly mild number. We're pretty sure he's right about this.
Chris Cornell, "Promise": Cornell's role as frontman of the hair-metal-killing grunge behemoths Soundgarden would have made this sludgy semi-ballad/superpower summit unthinkable a decade ago. Otherwise, it's amiable but unremarkable.
Current Superstars Whose Participation Indicates They Were the Recipients of Poor Career Advice
Adam Levine, "Gotten": One of the disc's few slow songs, this unfortunately hews closer to a Maroon 5 ballad than to a post-millennial "November Rain."
Fergie, "Beautiful Dangerous": This slinky, hard-grinding pop-metal track suggests Fergie could have a future in stripper anthems, if she wanted one.
-- Allison Stewart
"Ghost" (Astbury), "Beautiful Dangerous" (Fergie)