Slash: Slash


RIYL: Guns n Roses, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper

Duff McKagan is the newest member of Jane’s Addiction; Scott Weiland is back with STP; Matt Sorum has a Pussycat Dolls-like rock review with his Darling Stilettos, and Dave Kushner most recently co-wrote the theme song to “Sons of Anarchy.” What about the man in the top hat and the very soul of Velvet Revolver? Slash has left his Snakepit behind to release a guitar player’s record in which a different vocalist is featured on each track. So often these types of records are uneven because the vocalists skew the music so drastically apart, the end results feel like a series of singles slapped together. Most of the tracks are polished musical metal pop songs that his vocalists end up fitting into, adjusting their style to fit into his vision. On most of the songs, he doesn’t make the mistake of trying to build material for the singers except the collaborations with Adam Levine and Kid Rock, which feel more specific for those artists and sound like tracks that would be recorded by the vocalists on their records. Slash is fun, ripping good and more accessible then the two Velvet Revolver records. Contraband and Libertad had their moments, but weren’t very consistent regardless of the commercial and critical hoopla.

The formula mellows a bit for Kid Rock’s funky “I Hold On.” The Adam Levine-sung “Gotten” sounds a lot like a Maroon 5 groove. “Mother Mary” is an earthy effort by Beth Hart that conjures up a Janis Joplin vibe. “Watch This,” featuring Dave Grohl and Duff McKagan, is the lone instrumental and a tasty one at that. Slash compiles an eclectic guest list, but because the music is based on his bluesy soloing and magnificent crunchy riffs, the record has a remarkable consistency. Ozzy also appears on the very predictable sounding, “Crucify the Dead.” Doesn’t it seem like every Ozzy track these days kind of sounds the same? The copy available for this review also featured a Cypress Hill/Fergie collaboration for a cover of “Paradise City.” It has a weird sort of charm and works as does most of this record. Slash is a pleasant surprise and even with the diverse set of singers, is one of the better records thus far in 2010. (Dik Hayd 2010)

Slash MySpace page

  

Allison Iraheta: Just Like You


RIYL: Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Fergie

If you follow “American Idol” at all, you know that Season 8 (2009) was all about Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, and maybe some of you know current country act Danny Gokey, who finished third. But usually the other finalists are less memorable or fade into oblivion over time. Not so with fourth place finisher Allison Iraheta, who turned 17 during Season 8 but never showed signs of being that young. This young woman is so full of spunk and charisma, and has rocker pipes that should keep her financially set for a long time. Iraheta’s debut on Simon Fuller’s 19 Recordings/Jive, Just Like You, is one of those formula fests as pop/rock albums go – in other words, guys like Mitch Allan and David Hodges (Evanescence) were brought in to write with Allison, who winds up sounding more like Pink than anyone else. And if you’re into Pink, there is nothing wrong with that at all. Of course, some of this stuff is borderline annoying, like the Fergie-ish first two tracks, “Friday I’ll Be Over You” and “Robot Love.” But it gets better from there, starting with the powerful anthem of a title track, and later on with two of the best songs that somehow got buried here, piano ballad “Trouble Is,” and “No One Else,” (ironically co-written by Pink and “Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi), which is reminiscent of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best.” Come to think of it, Iraheta certainly has Turner elements in her voice, and that’s really saying something. No fading into oblivion here, just a really bright future. (19 Recordings/Jive 2009)

Allison Iraheta website

  

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