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Slash, ‘Apocalyptic Love’ – Album Review

Apocalyptic Love
EMI

Fresh off his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his former band Guns N’ Roses, guitar great Slash returns with his second solo disc, ‘Apocalyptic Love.’

With his debut self-titled disc, Slash tested the waters, conducting a musical experiment boasting a wide array of guest vocalists from Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas to shock rocker Alice Cooper offering a slew sounds and styles.

On ‘Apocalyptic Love,’ Slash continues to experiment with different sounds but has clearly fallen into a more comfortable groove of relying solely on lead vocalist Myles Kennedy rather than a singer-by-committee approach, and with good reason.

While the album title ‘Apocalyptic Love’ may conjure up images of the amorous undead, this disc is chock full of life. The title track kicks off with a funkified guitar intro and proves to be a true love story as Kennedy’s vocals wail, “This is the last time Whoa-oh / Don’t care how we do it as long as we make love under the same sky / All we’ve got is tonight.” By the end of the song you realize what a perfect pairing Kennedy and Slash truly are. Kennedy has the chops to keep up with Slash note for note, regardless of where he takes the song – and let’s face it, with Slash that could be anywhere.

‘One Last Thrill’ and ‘Shots Fired’ are as close to vintage GN’R as it gets on this disc, and that’s more than enough to leave one satisfied. ‘One Last Thrill’ proves to be a gritty, up-tempo rocker that speeds through the chorus and leaves you feeling a little dirty just for being in the same soundscape. ‘Shots Fired’ is a bold-faced rocker driven by a speedy little drum beat and classic sing-a-long choruses before Slash unleashes an epic guitar solo. It’s hard not to picture him slouched back, top hat firmly in place, as he tears through the riff.

‘Anastasia’ starts off with classic elegance delivered courtesy of Slash and his six-string before the rock band behind him demands to be heard and takes the song to new heights. The beautiful ballad ‘Far and Away’ is where Slash and company prove their true diversity and tests Kennedy’s vocal abilities. We know he can sing rock anthems but he can also go the opposite direction exuding raw emotion through his voice for the softer songs.

What makes this disc so appealing is the sheer diversity of it. Proving his true jack-of-all-trades abilities, the songs range from straight-up rockers to bluesy infused tunes to even the softer side of Slash with classical and cinematic elements – all in all, a well-rounded offering proving that he’s no one-trick pony.

Billed as a solo effort relying on the star power of the Slash brand, ‘Apocalyptic Love’ is definitely no one man show. While Slash’s guitar gymnastics are certainly the star, the supporting cast of Kennedy on vocals, Brent Fitz on drums and Todd Kerns on bass help prove that when the right pieces fall into place, rock ‘n’ roll will always persevere.

Given the drama of the last few months over the Guns N’ Roses Rock Hall induction, it’s nice to see a return to rock at its purest form -  letting the music speak for itself. On ‘Apocalyptic Love,’ which has already yielded the hit single ‘You’re a Lie,’ it’s plain to hear that Slash is speaking louder than ever.

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