By Ben Apatoff
“Legend” is one of the most overused terms in music writing, but SLASH unquestionably deserves it. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you could live without Appetite for Destruction, no matter how many times you’ve heard it. Don't pretend that the “November Rain” solo doesn’t make you want to howl at the moon, or that every cool, charismatic and stylish hard rock guitarist from 1987 on (and some from before that) doesn’t want to be him. But as always, it’s best artists that let you down hardest, and that’s what Slash, CHRIS CORNELL, OZZY OSBOURNE and a few others have done on this record.
Slash is inoffensive at best and toothless at worst. It reflects the position that Slash is in today; a formerly edgy musician who seems like he's given up on pushing musical, legal and physical boundaries. Watery tracks with ADAM LEVINE and FERGIE (the latter embarrassing herself with an ALANIS impression) feel like Slash's recent TV appearances: a great guitarist edging toward self parody by lending rock "cred" to whatever American Idol contestant buys it. Slash's touring singer, MYLES KENNEDY, turns in competent, characterless performances on his two songs, but the biggest letdowns are from the icons. Who knew that Slash could release a full-length album with less than five interesting riffs? Who would've thought that any song featuring LEMMY could be less than stellar? Why is IGGY POP embarrassing himself with an ode to public urination? The two best songs both feature former Gunners, with unappreciated songwriter IZZY STRADLIN' doctoring "Ghost" into something hummable and DUFF MCKAGAN and DAVE GROHL giving some punch to the instrumental "Watch This," which indicates the kind of record that Slash should've made. Maybe Chinese Democracy was better off without him.
Rating: 1.5 Snakepits out of 5