If you don’t know who Slash is, you’re an idiot. Or my mum. Just sayin’. For nigh on twenty years, the man in the top hat has fed our appetites for destruc-
No. I refuse to utilise cheap puns in this review, if not to preserve my own journalistic integrity. You’ll wanting cheap shots at Chinese Democracy next, but sod off I’m taking the high road.
Either way you’ve messed your pants about who’s on this album, as there’s been a lot of talk of who’s actually made the cut. Myles Kennedy, Ozzy, and Ian Astbury will probably do it for the rockers out there, M. Shadows for the twats with bad haircuts and Fergie for the pre-pubescent teenage girl that resides inside us all.
I hate to tread this particular ground, but R & Fn’R is probably the album that should’ve followed the album that followed (We don’t count shitty covers albums here) Use Your Illusion II. The progression towards a less keys and blues based sound and more towards contemporary hard rock is something that’s kept Slash’s career alive since he left the Gunners, R & Fn’R provides a spectrum of all of his previous workings. One thing that will bring the album down for some people is the continuity; if you like an album that has a similar sound throughout and flows cohesively, this’ll piss you off no end. Unless you’re the kind of guy that likes a huge stadium ballad followed by flamenco guitar. I’m looking at you, Starlight and Saint Is A Sinner Too’.
By and large, the songwriting is excellent with all singers being utilised to their full potential. Yes, even the chick from Pussycat Dolls who is one grainy sex tape short of personifying a Paris Hilton caricature in Baby Can’t Drive’. Alice Cooper certainly didn’t object to the duet. Kid Rock doesn’t sound like Kid Rock in I Hold On and Andrew Stockdale proves he’s more than just a convict with a silly haircut pretending to be Jack White on Die By The Sword. Lemmy does his best Lemmy impression in Doctor Alibi, which is hardly surprising. Interesting to note is that Slash let all the guest vocalists write the lyrics and melodies to the songs, each one has the subtle trademarks of their own respective bands. Apart from Fergie, who not only handles Beautiful Dangerous with annoying ease, but doubles up as a much prettier Axl Rose with better funbags on Paradise City with Cypress Hill and you honestly wonder why the Black Eyed Peas still make her rap when she wails like Doro.
It’s not moving music forward, but it’s not supposed to. Slash knows what he’s good at, and he’s good at hard rock. It’s a solid, fun album that needs to be played loud. While drinking beer. And buying hookers.